RNLI issues new safety warning as lifeguards return to more beaches in Norfolk.

The RNLI is issuing an urgent safety warning to coastal visitors as its lifeguards return to four more beaches in Norfolk this weekend.

The charity is stepping up its lifesaving service to coincide with the further easing of Government restrictions on the tourism and hospitality industries. This weekend, professional lifeguard patrols will be on more than 160 beaches in England, Northern Ireland and the Channel Islands, including at Wells-next-the-Sea, Sheringham West, Mundesley and Hemsby. These services add to those at Cromer East, Sea Palling and Gorleston, which went live in June.

The RNLI is also issuing a new safety warning to all beachgoers, following a spike in call-outs since lockdown measures were eased. Of particular concern is the number of people requiring rescue after being cut off by the tide. During May and June, the charity was called to seven separate incidents in Norfolk, involving 62 people cut off by the rising tide.

Working with partners including HM Coastguard, the charity has produced artwork explaining the specific dangers of tidal cut-off. It is urging anyone planning to visit the coast to make sure they keep themselves and their families safe by following beach safety advice:

~ Have a plan – check the weather forecast, tide times and read local hazard signage

~ Keep a close eye on your family – on the beach and in the water

~ Don’t allow your family to swim alone

~ Don’t use inflatables

~ If you fall into the water unexpectedly, FLOAT TO LIVE. Fight your instinct to thrash around, lean back, extend your arms and legs, and Float

~ In an emergency dial 999, and ask for the Coastguard

Nick Ayers, RNLI Water Safety Lead, North and East said: ‘Norfolk’s beaches are some of the most beautiful and unique landscapes in the country. But they can bring unique dangers, with sand bars and fast-flowing channels appearing and disappearing on the tide.

‘With schools not yet fully open and restrictions on foreign travel, we know that this could be the busiest summer ever on our beaches – and in turn for both our lifeguards and lifeboat crews. So it’s vital visitors to our coast help ease the pressure on emergency services and keep themselves safe by following our advice.’

Cllr Sarah Bütikofer, Leader of North Norfolk District Council, said: “North Norfolk District Council is delighted to welcome back RNLI lifeguards this summer, their advice and support is always extremely welcome on our beaches.

‘I would urge all beach users to please follow the RNLI safety advice when visiting the coast, if you can’t see a lifeguard look out for signage offering advice about the beach you are visiting. Please remember to be responsible, look out for those around you and to #Leaveonlyfootprints.’

Cllr Carl Smith, leader of Great Yarmouth Borough Council, said: ‘The expansion of lifeguard provision is more than welcomed as more of our seafront business are set to reopen this weekend, which means we expect a rise in visitors to our beaches.

‘Whilst the sea can be a fun place to play and cool off in the warmer weather, it is also important to remember the danger the water holds. Lifeguards cannot be everywhere this summer, and visitors must be sensible around the sea.

‘Visitors must be respectable and responsible when visiting our coastline by following water safety advice, adhering to the social distancing guidelines, queueing responsibly and of course disposing of any litter in the bin.’

The RNLI is helping our supporters to help us

Since the start of lockdown our RNLI shop has been closed and will remain so, as it is part of our station and we need to keep our crews safe. This will enable our volunteers to respond to their pagers so they can assist whoever needs our help.

However, from this week it will now be possible for our local supporters to buy items from ‘our’ shop via the online RNLI shop. So in a nutshell it means our supporters can go online at bit.ly/RNLI_Shop_Free_PnP and when they make their purchase they enter a code 12326, which is unique to our station. Post and packing are free, so it won’t cost them any more than if they had come into the our shop or they can use this link https://shop.rnli.org. This offer ends on 31 July 2020.

Our Safety Team would like to add this advice:

ENJOY YOUR TIME AT THE COAST STAY SAFE

· Carry a means of calling for help and keep it protected and attachedto you at all times.

· Tell someone where youare going and when you expect to be back.

· Check the weather and tide times.

· Read signs and be aware of local hazards.

· The RNLI urges people not to use inflatables, blow-up toys and airbeds are designed for pools, not the sea where they can easily be swept out to sea

· KNOW WHAT TO DO SEARCH: RESPECT THE WATER

IN AN EMERGENCY call 999 or 112 and ask for the Coastguard.

Happisburgh RNLI Volunteers were called into action to inflatable being blown out to sea

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.

Happisburgh Lifeboat Continued Search for Missing Person

Happisburgh RNLI Volunteers were called into action to search for a missing person for the second day running. The pagers sounded at 1pm today 20th February 2020. The crew assembled within ten minutes and, after a briefing from HM Coastguard and Police, Howard Bell was launched at 1:20pm with Tim Grimmer at the helm and Sean Thurston, David Loveday and Chris Risby as crew and started the search off Walcott. They did a shore line search down to Waxham then headed out to sea and returned to Walcott and then repeated this again. The sea was rough at times with heavy squalls. Howard Bell returned to Station at 3:20pm after finding nothing and being stood down. Howard Bell was rehoused and made ready for service.

The search is carrying on with Police, HM Coastguard search teams and Lowland search teams. Happisburgh volunteers are on stand-by if needed again.

The RNLI is facing a Perfect Storm: our volunteers are busier than ever; providing a world class rescue service but people are still drowning, however our income is down so we need more money to save more lives – investing in the future of lifesaving is vital. Fund raising like this is essential in order to enable us to carry on with this work.

Visit RNLI.org/ThePerfectStorm to donate.

Happisburgh Lifeboat Launch for Missing Person

Happisburgh RNLI Lifeboat was called into action in support of HM Coastguard and Police

Happisburgh RNLI Volunteers were called into action to search for a missing person. The pagers sounded at 1:18pm today 19th February 2020. The crew assembled within ten minutes and, after a briefing from HM Coastguard and Police, Howard Bell was launched at 1:37pm with Tim Grimmer at the helm and Sean Thurston, Dave Loveday and Chris Risby as crew and started the search off Walcott. They did a shore line search down to Waxham then headed out to sea and returned to Walcott and then repeated this again.  The sea was slight and the visibility was good. 

Howard Bell returned to Station at 4pm in order to change crew and refuel before relaunching at 5pm with Jake Munday at helm, Cubitt Siely and Charlotte Siely as crew. They continued with the search for another hour until they lost visibility.  On both occasions nothing was found.  At 6pm Howard Bell returned to Station and was rehoused and made ready for service.

The search is carrying on with Police, HM Coastguard search teams and HM Coastguard Rescue Helicopter from Hull. Happisburgh volunteers are on stand by if needed again.

The RNLI is facing a Perfect Storm: our volunteers are busier than ever; providing a world class rescue service but people are still drowning, however our income is down so we need more money to save more lives – investing in the future of lifesaving is vital. Fund raising like this is essential in order to enable us to carry on with this work.

Visit RNLI.org/ThePerfectStorm to donate.

Donation From Barrington Farm Residents

Barrington Farm is a unique independent day services centre for adults with learning difficulties, based at Walcott, which has come to the aid of Happisburgh RNLI volunteers by raising £440.05 for the station to save lives at sea.

Amanda Colman has been running a drama group at Barrington Farm for about two years.  Amanda said ‘we became interested in the history of the coastal area around Walcott and the idea of making a show about smugglers, lifeboat crews and the beauty and joy of our Norfolk Coast was created.  The cast were particularly interested in learning about lifeboat crews and their daring rescues.
We believe that theatre should be free and accessible to all and decided that we would “pass the hat” around at the end of the show and donate the proceeds to the RNLI.  The show was a success and we, the cast and staff of Barrington Farm were amazed at the incredible response we received .
Creating our recent show Beside the Sea has given the cast a voice; we were busy in the art barn leading up to the production making the set and costumes plus rehearsing two days per week.  The performers were inspired to be raising money for the RNLI and are quite rightly very, very proud of their achievement.
We naturally suffered from an after show slump (which is very common!) before deciding to cobble together another show in time for Christmas which we are presently working on – it’s called A Partridge on a Settee and will be on 18/12/19’.

Volunteers from Happisburgh went along to meet the cast and hear their stories, the cast then presented the cheque.

The RNLI is facing a Perfect Storm: our volunteers are busier than ever; providing a world class rescue service but people are still drowning, however our income is down so we need more money to save more lives – investing in the future of lifesaving is vital. Fund raising like this is essential in order to enable us to carry on with this work.

Visit RNLI.org/ThePerfectStorm to donate.

Crew paged twice in 24 hours to assist with search for Missing Girl

Happisburgh vouneteers were called into acton again tonight 13th October at 6:35pm to help with search for a Girl missing, HM Coastguard paged the crew at 6:35pm to help with the search,

By 6:45pm Russell Pickering was on the water with Tim Grimmer on helm and Martin Gibbs as crew tasked to do a coast line search up the coast towards Walcott.

Howard Bell was being made ready to go to sea, HM Coastguard contacted Russell Pickering and informed them that the Girl had been found safe, they then returned to station recoved and made ready for service by 7:15pm

Happisburgh volunteers were previously called into acton last night 12th October at 9pm to help with a search for a girl missing around the Walcott area. HM Coastguard paged the crew at 9pm to help with the search; Mundesley Lifeboat, the Police and Bacton Coastguard were already searching when we were called

By 9:10pm Howard Bell was on the water with Tim Grimmer on helm and Martin Gibbs and Chirs Risby as crew, tasked to do a coast line search up the towards Walcott. HM Coastguard then tasked Russell Pickering with Jake Munday on helm and Sean Thurston as crew, to recover two Police officers who had been searching the beach towards Happisburgh and found themselves cut off by the tide.

Howard Bell was soon informed that the girl had been found cold and wet and she had walked off the beach. Russell Pickering soon arrived where the police officers were and worked their way through the old revetments to the beach, picked up the officers and tranfered them to Howard Bell to be taken to Walcott ramp.  They were then transferred back to Russell Pickering to be put ashore.

Both boats returned to Station and were rehoused and made ready for service by 10:30pm

Busy 24 hours with five taskings from HM Coastguard

Happisburgh Lifeboat volunteers had a busy twenty-four hours with five taskings from HM Coastguard

It started at 4.10pm on Friday 30th August when the pagers alerted the crew to a 40 ft Sunseeker cruiser with engine problems, taking on water off Waxham. She was on passage to Lowerstoft with 4 persons on board. The station’s Atlantic Howard Bell was launched with Sean Thurston at the helm and Martin Gibbs, Will Baker and Chris Rigsby as crew. When they arrived alongside the cruiser the engine had been restarted but was still taking on water. Martin Gibbs went on board the cruiser with the salvage pump and the lifeboat escorted the crusier to Great Yarmouth before returning to Happisburgh, being back on service at 9pm.

This was the first time Sean Thurston had taken the helm of the Atlantic since passing out as helm ten days earlier. Sean said ‘it was great to put all the training into practice for real’.

Then on Saturday 31st August the pagers went off again, this time the D-Class Russell Pickering was launched to Walcott to reports of four persons in the sea ? inflatable. Russell Pickering was soon on its way with Tim Grimmer at the Helm and crew of Sean Thurston and Will Baker. On arrivel the crew found the four persons were ashore so beached the D-Class and carried out casualty assessments before handing over to the Ambulance service. An off duty policeman had used a board to go out to sea and get the persons ashore; the Coastguard asked the Lifeboat to do a coastline search for him to make sure he was OK; he was not located and was believed to have left the beach.

The Station’s Atlantic was also paged for this search but was stood down as the D-class had handed the casualties over to the ambulance service.

No sooner had the crews returned to the station when the pagers were set off again, this time to a small dinghy with engine problems off Walcott. Howard Bell was dispached to the scene with Sean Thurston on the helm and Tim Grimmer and Will Baker as crew. When alongside the dinghy they found the engine had been restarted.

The crew were then tasked by HM Coastguard to a person who had swam out to recover a ball from the sea. The crew soon located the person close to the beach and watched him reach the shore, then returned to the dinghy and escorted it safely back to shore. Howard Bell returned to staton and was then ready for service again.

Tim Grimmer, Senior Helm, said ‘people need to be aware that after the beach at Walcott has been rebuilt and the public are able to use it again, when there is an offshore wind there is nothing to reduce the force and effect of the wind so all inflatables should be tethered securely to the beach to prevent them being blown out to sea. The first callout to Walcott was four persons who had fallen out of an inflatable and if it had not been for the brave actions of the off duty Policeman it could have been a different story. Enjoy the beach but be safe and if any problems then call 999 and ask for the Coastguard.’

Crew launch D-Class to Drifting Inflatable

HM Coastguard contacted Paul Broomfield, Deputy Launching Authority at Happisburgh, at 4:05pm and informed him that an inflatable dinghy with two persons on board was drifting out to sea.  He alerted the volunteer crew and the station’s Russell Pickering D/Class lifeboat was soon on the water with Tim Grimmer on helm and Martin Gibbs as crew.  No sooner than they were on the water the Coastguard called them and informed them that a kayak had towed the dinghy to the beach; the crew were stood down and returned to the station.

Tim Grimmer said ‘people need to be careful when using any type of inflatable on the beach, the inflatable needs to be tethered securely to the shore, someone needs to be ashore with means of calling for help if anything happens then call 999 and ask for the Coastguard, and don’t forget if your inflatable blows away, even if no one is onboard, please inform the Coastguard of where it is heading plus colour and size’.

Russell Pickering was refuelled and made ready for service again. We are greatful to the kayaker who towed the dinghy ashore.

£500 Donation From Sheringham Oddfellows

An Oddfellows donation is helping to keep a north Norfolk lifeboat station afloat. The £500 gift from the Trafalgar Lodge to Happisburgh RNLI will go to local station running costs. It was gratefully received at the station’s annual Lifeboat Day event, where the big turnout shows the appreciation the public has for the life-saving service it offers. Oddfellows branch Development Officer Angie Batson did the handover, and even got a chance to board one off the station’s two boats – while it was still on dry land. Trafalgar is a regular supporter of lifeboats in the area, including Happisburgh and Sheringham. The Oddfellows is an historic Friendly Society dating back to 1810, providing social, care and financial benefits for its members as well as friendship and charity fundraising. Find out more at www.oddfellows.co.uk, or call 0161 832 9361.

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