Wells RNLI Lifeboat rescues man from capsized dinghy at Burnham Overy

The Mersey class is launched at Wells Lifeboat Station. Picture: Ian Burt

The Mersey class is launched at Wells Lifeboat Station. Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: IAN BURT

The Wells inshore and all-weather lifeboats rescued a man whose small sailing dinghy which had capsized in the entrance to Burnham Overy Staithe.

On Saturday morning both Wells lifeboats were taking part in a regular training exercise in the vicinity of Wells when a real life emergency happened.

At 10.20am the coastguard reported that a member of the public had spotted someone waving for help from a capsized sailing dinghy in cold windy conditions.

The lifeboats were already launched and immediately diverted to Burnham Overy Staithe.

The All-weather Lifeboat arrived first, at 10.34am, and came alongside the man, who did not require medical assistance and was able to remain on board his dinghy while the lifeboat towed him into the shelter of Scolt Head.

At 10.37am the inshore lifeboat (ILB) arrived and took over the tow, taking the vessel and its skipper back to the slipway at Burnham Overy Staithe.

RNLI spokesman Peter Rainsford said: 'The entrance to Overy Staithe can be an inhospitable place when the wind is in the east and the tide starts to ebb out of the harbour.

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'It is fortunate for this sailor that he was spotted quickly; he would have become rapidly cold in the water and would have had great difficulty reaching the shore without assistance.'

Did you witness the rescue? Write to doug.faulkner@archant.co.uk

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