Photo gallery: Crab boat capsizes during rescue drama off Cromer beach

Cromer lifeboatmen and fishermen help bring a broken down crab boat to shore. Picture: Julie Marney

A dramatic rescue unfolded off Cromer beach this morning after a fishing boat broke down in a heavy swell.

The small crab vessel lost power off the Bath House at around 8.20am.

The inshore lifeboat was scrambled into action and rushed to the boat and its one man crew.

A tow line was attached to pull it to safety, but just a few hundred metres from the shore the crab boat capsized and the fisherman ended up in the sea.

He managed to scramble onto the top of the upturned boat as the lifeboat crew were joined by fishermen, who helped attach more tow lines and pull the vessel ashore with a tractor.

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John and Julie Marney were taking an early morning walk along the promenade when they watched the rescue unfold, and took these pictures of the lifeboat crew and fishermen bringing the stricken vessel ashore.

Richard Leeds, operations manager at Cromer lifeboat, said the crew was faced with 'very difficult' conditions.

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'It was force three - four (winds) and a heavy swell. We brought him in as safely as we could, unfortunately at the last few metres the swell caught the crab boat and turned him over,' Mr Leeds added.

'Luckily he was ok but it was a bit of a struggle getting him through the swell. It involved a lot of shore crew and extra fishermen.

'It was not ideal conditions.'

The fisherman and crab boat were brought safely ashore and the lifeboat was stood down at 9.15am.

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