Happisburgh Coastwatch saw an inflatable being blown out to sea, with what they thought was a person next to it, so contacted HM Coastguard.
The pagers sounded at 2:15pm today Monday 22nd June to an inflatable being blown out to sea on an offshore wind. The Duty Launching Authority was contacted by HM Coastguard and the crew pagers set off.
Happisburgh’s D-Class, D-813 Russell Pickering was on the water at 2:20pm with Charlotte Siely on the helm and Tim Grimmer and Matthew Haystead as crew and set course for the inflatable, which was visible from the beach.
On arrival at the inflatable no person was found just an orange football; both items were picked up and a box search was carried out again – nothing found. HM Coastguard then tasked them to do a shoreline search down to Sea Palling, with Bacton Coastguard team patrolling the beach at the same time. Again nothing was found so after an hour of searching the Lifeboat were stood down and returnd to station and Russell Pickering was recovered at 3.25pm and made ready for sevice again. This included Covid -19 safeguarding procedures.
This was a call with good intent.
The RNLI would strongly recommend that the public do not take or use INFLATABLES on the beach as due to Covid -19 there are fewer RNLI Lifeguards on call plus fewer people on beaches which places people with inflatables at greater DANGER.