Happisburgh R.N.L.I. Lifeboat Station volunteers were called into action at 2am this morning 2nd July, to reports of missing swimmer at the back of reef two Sea Palling.
The crew were quickly out of their beds and the Station’s Atlantic 85 Howard Bell was on her way to Sea Palling with Tim Grimmer at the helm and crew of Cubitt Siely and Sam Gillard. This was the first call out for the Howard Bell since arriving at the station in May this year; Tim Grimmer said “at first they were going to take the Station’s D class Lifeboat, but due to it being high tide with a strong ground swell it was not safe to launch”.
En route to Sea Palling they received an update that three people had gone swimming from a camp on the beach but only two had returned to the beach. Happisburgh Lifeboat carried out a shore line search from Happisburgh to reef one at Sea Palling. They were joined by Sea Palling Lifeboat but after some time the crew were informed by the Coastguard that the missing person had been found safe and well.
The crew returned to Station, arriving back at 3:25am; the boat was recovered and ready for service again at 4am and the crew returned to their beds. Tim Grimmer said “the crew and I were very pleased with the way the new boat had handled and operated on its first service”.
It is never safe to swim in the sea at night, as you lose your bearings very quickly and can get swept away by the tide before you know it. It is also harder for the rescue services to find you. The best advice for swimmers is to always swim between the flags on life-guarded beaches or if this is not possible to always have someone ashore who is able to call for help if anything goes wrong.