Crew launch to rescue Spaniel Rosie

Happisburgh Volunteers were call into action at 12:05 pm an eight year old Spaniel was reported going into the sea  and was subsequently taken out to sea.  The dog’s owner, Rachel Grey, called for help and Happisburgh’s D Class ‘Russell Pickering’ was launched with Jake Munday at the helm and Martin Gibbs as crew; they picked up Rosie, the spaniel, 500 metres off the beach.  She was returned to the beach to be reunited with owner, Rachel.

Lifeboat ‘Russell Pickering’ was re-housed and made ready for service.

We would like dog owners whose dogs get swept out to sea to call the Coastguard and ask for the Lifeboat; we are happy to save a dog and rather then having to search for a missing owner.


Launch Tractor Bog Down Tests Training & Equipment

On Sunday 10th December 2017, when the stations Atlantic 85 had been launched on its normal Sunday morning exercise the launching tractor became stuck in soft sand do to the recent storms, this is known as a bog down.

The driver shut down and tractor and made his way safely to shore, the stations Atlantic 85 made its way to Gorleston to be moored at Gorleston Lifeboat station. Today 12th December 2017 with the help of a recovery tractor the station tractor was recovered from the sea this morning at low water, the station tractor was found to be dry inside and after routine check should be back on service by the end of the week, the launching trailer has not suffered any major damage from its 48hrs in the north sea.

Tractors become bogged down from time to time, the drivers are fully trained and as  shown from this is able to be successfully recover the tractor and trailer with both being able to be put back into service.

This shows the high stands of both equipment and training the RNLI have to enable its volunteers to carry out their role of saving life’s at sea.

The stations Atlanic 85 will return to station once tractor and trailer have been checked over the D Class Lifeboat has been on service and ready for action,

Relating article and media credits here

Joe the dog rescued from beach after falling down cliff

A dog which had fallen down a north Norfolk cliff was reunited with his relieved owner thanks to a rescue by local lifeboat and coastguard crews.

The spaniel, called Joe, and his owner Anne were walking near Manor Caravan Park when Joe landed on the beach, with no way to get back, on Saturday afternoon (November 25).

The Happisburgh and Mundesley Coastguard Rescue Team was called in to help.

Pete Revell, from the Coastguard, said: “The dog was stuck on the beach and the owner was frantically trying to get to the dog, but because there was no access in that area, she couldn’t get down to the beach.

“We were tasked with looking after her safety so that she didn’t attempt to go down the cliff, and we were also contemplating how to get the dog.”

Mr Revell said it was decided to involve the RNLI’s Happisburgh Lifeboat Station. The station’s D Class Russel Pickering launched at around 1.40pm – its first call out since it arrived at the station in September .

Mr Revell said: “One crew member went onto the beach, they got the dog on a leash and walked it through the surf to its owner.

“Anne had just moved to Happisburgh, and she was just going for the first of many dog walks.

“It was one she won’t forget.”

An RNLI spokesman said: “The lifeboat launched with Tim Grimmer at the helm and Charlotte Siely, Martin Gibbs and Sam Gillard and went to the beach at the Manor Caravan Park. The lifeboat was beached and Martin Gibbs was put ashore and was able to get the dog and walk it along the beach to be reunited with its owner. Anne.

“Martin was then picked up and Russell Pickering returned to station and back on service.”

Original article available here.

Supporters welcomed to naming and dedication of the station’s new Atlantic 85 and D Class Lifeboats.

Happisburgh Lifeboat volunteers welcomed 200 of our supporters to the station for the naming and dedication of the station’s new Atlantic 85 and D Class Lifeboats. Special guests were Terry Baker, representing the Howard family and Beryl Pickering, representing the Pickering family; these being the donors whose generosity has funded these two lifeboats.

At 2:00pm Philip Smith (chairman of Happisburgh’s Lifeboat Management Group welcomed everyone to the Naming Ceremony.  Terry Baker (nephew of Howard Bell)  handed over the Atlantic 85 lifeboat to the RNLI followed by Beryl Pickering (mother of Russell Pickering) who handed over the D Class lifeboat.  These were accepted into the Institution by David Squire (RNLI Council Member) before then being handed over to Cubitt Siely (Happisburgh’s Lifeboat Operations Manager) and into the care of Happisburgh Lifeboat Station.

Our Honorary Chaplain, the Reverend Catherine Dobson, led the service of dedication.

Terry Baker was invited to formally name the Atlantic 85 ‘Howard Bell’ in memory of Howard and Maureen (Poppy) Bell, followed by Beryl Pickering formally naming the   D Class ‘Russell Pickering’ in memory of her son Russell Pickering.

Philip Smith then gave a vote of thanks to all the supporters and a huge thank you to Terry and the family of Howard and Poppy Bell and to Beryl and her family for attending and supporting Happisburgh Lifeboat Station. Thanks were also given to Fakenham Town Band for their excellent music at the ceremony.

Then both Lifeboats were launched with the crew giving a demonstration of both boat’s capabilities.

Everyone joined together for light refreshments in the boathouse to conclude the afternoon.

B Class B-899 Howard Bell

Howard and Maureen (Poppy) Bell

Howard and poppy had a great heart for the RNLI. After Howard’s eldest sister tragically drowned at Earlham’s Beach, Dovercourt in the early 1950’s Poppy and Howard set about raising funds for the RNLI; during their lives they raised vast sums of money.

In the 1960s they started fundraising on Fred Olsen cruise ships to encourage fellow guests to help the RNLI to save lives at sea. They enjoyed many happy years cruising and raising funds. Poppy was always knitting gloves and hats, plus making gifts for folk to buy.

Howard helped the RNLI at Harwich and then became Liaison Officer for Cromer and areas further down the coast. He received an MBE for his services to the RNLI.

Howard passed away on 31st October 2006. Shortly afterwards Poppy moved back to her beloved Dovercourt, from Norfolk. Still the RNLI was in her heart, and she continued to help and support them. Poppy passed away on 1st June 2012.

Howard’s and Poppy’s ashes were scattered at sea from the Harwich lifeboat.

In their wills they wanted to support the RNLI and through their generosity others will be helped in the future.

D Class D-813 Russell Pickering

Russell Pickering

As a long-standing member of the RNLI, the Pickering family would like to dedicate this Lifeboat in loving memory of our son and brother, Russell Pickering, who died 2 years ago from cancer at the age of 50. We believe he would approve of our decision as he had a lifelong interest in sailing and outdoor pursuits.




Crew launch to yacht in difficulty

UK Coastguard received a mobile phone call from a 8 meter yacht 5 miles off the coast off Happisburgh, taking in water and with no power. Happisburgh volunteer lifeboat crew were paged at 8:50pm and the the Station’s Atlantic Lifeboat, Howard Bell, was on her way at 9pm with Tim Grimmer on the helm and Charlotte Siely, Martin Gibbs and Sam Gillard as crew.

As the yacht had no working radio, due to no power, the location was hard to find but after putting up a white flair the crew located the yacht with one person on board,

Once alongside Martin Gibbs was transferred to the yacht with a salvage pump, once the pump was set up Martin attached the tow to the yacht.  Howard Bell then took the yacht in tow towards Yarmouth harbour.

When the crew entered the ‘Yarmouth Roads’ they were joined by Gorleston Lifeboat who took over the tow to take the yacht into the harbour.

Happisburgh Lifeboat then returned to Happisburgh arriving at midnight to be refuelled and made ready for service.

Tim Grimmer commented “the crew had to work together and this went like clockwork, each member had a job to do and the team worked well together”.

Tim – at the helm, Charlotte – radio and navigation, Martin – on the casualty, Sam – doing the tow on the Lifeboat.

Exercising crew called to search for missing hand glider

Happisburgh RNLI volunteers were on their normal Tuesday evening training when the station received a call from the UK Coastguard at 8pm to task the stations Atlantic Howard Bell to search between Cart Gap to Horsey as they had reports of a powered Hang glider ditching into the sea around Winterton, Helm Christian Larter crew Charlotte Siely, Sam Gillard and David Loveday.

At 8:30pm the Coastguard task the Stations D Class Spirit of Berkhamsted Helm Tim Grimmer crew Martin Gibbs and Sean Thurston to join Howard Bell with the search, also involved Sea Palling and Hemsby Lifeboats  Coastguard Helicopter and three Coastguard times,

By 10:30pm the Spirit of Berkhamsted was forced to return to station due to the worsening sea conditions along with Sea Palling and Hemsby Lifeboats, Howard Bell and the Helicopter carried on until 11:30pm when the Coastguard stood everybody down, Howard Bell returned to station by midnight.

This was a genuine call out with good intent, any one seeing any at sea should call 999 and ask for the Coastguard

Happisburgh Lifeboat Day the Most Successful on Record

The sun was out and so were lots of people at the annual Lifeboat Day and Fete.

The crew had an early 7:30am start with a crew off to Sea Palling to give safety cover for the Sea Palling Reef swim; all went well. Then back to station to set up for the fete.

Midday and it all started with hundreds of people turning out to support the station – having fun, learning more about the RNLI, listening to live music, playing games, eating and being merry.

At 2pm the displays started with the East Anglian Working Newfoundland dogs, then a display by Cromer Lifeboat, Lester, which joined Happisburgh’s Atlantic 85, Howard Bell, which arrived in May this year, and D Class, Spirit of Berkhamstead, which has been on station since 2003 and due to be replaced next month by a new D Class, Russell Pickering. The station will be sad to see Spirit of Berkhamstead go after 14 years service at Happisburgh, now being the oldest of its kind in the RNLI fleet.

The fun carried on after the displays with the hog roast, bar and music on tap until 6pm.

The Station would like to thank all our supporters, volunteers and local companies and organisations for making the day a great success, raising £8081.48 on the day with more still to come in, which makes it a very good year.

All the money goes to help us Save Lives at Sea. Next year’s Lifeboat Day will be Sunday 5th August 2018; please put in your diaries. We look forward to seeing you all again next year!




Busy 24 Hours as Crew Paged to Jetski in Distress and Swamped Pleasure Boat

Happisburgh R.N.L.I. Lifeboat Station volunteers were called into action twice this afternoon, Wednesday 19th July. The pagers sounded at 3:15pm for reports of a broken down jet ski off the coast at Waxham, drifting out to sea.

Happisburgh Atlantic, Howard Bell, was on its way at 3:25pm with Tim Grimmer at the helm and Sam Gillard and Martin Gibbs as crew; the Coastguard tasked them to search from Sea Palling towards Winterton. The Jet ski had left Sea Palling an hour before the callout.

The sea conditions were rough when the Lifeboat arrived off Waxham; the Coastguard from Winterton could see the jet ski from the top of the sand dunes so they were able to guide the Lifeboat crew to the jet ski which was now one mile off the coast. Both persons on the jet ski were uninjured so their craft was towed back to Sea Palling arriving at 4:12pm, where, with the help of the RNLI Lifeguards the jet ski and crew were landed on the beach and looked after by the Lifeguards.

Howard Bell then returned to station at 4:28pm and had to do a net recovery due to the rough sea at Happisburgh. The Lifeboat was made ready for service again.

At 6:46pm the pagers sounded again and the crew arrived to find two people who had tried to launch a river boat at Happisburgh and the boat had been swamped. The Lifeboat was not launched but the fully equipped crew went to the aid of the two men and helped recover the boat from the sea. Crew members gave advice about sea safety before returning once again to station.

RNLI appeal for waterside volunteers to help save lives on Broads waterways

Staff at pubs, bars and shops in the Broads National Park are being offered free training and equipment by the RNLI that could ultimately help prevent people drowning on the area’s waterways.

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution, the charity that saves lives at sea, is running a pilot scheme which will supply potentially lifesaving “throw bags” to pubs at key locations, and train staff to use them when people get into distress in the water.

The ‘Waterside Community Responder’ scheme comes in the wake of official statistics that show in the last three years, 20 people drowned around the Broads.

Ben Mitchell, Community Safety Partner for the RNLI, said: This scheme is very straightforward – we’re offering to provide free training in how to use these throw bags, to the people and businesses that are most likely to witness people getting into difficulty in the water.

A throw bag is essentially a 20m floating line that when packed its own bag is weighted enough to be thrown to a casualty, it can then be used to pull the casualty to safety by the person throwing the bag.

Ben, who will deliver the training along with fellow members of Happisburgh RNLI Community Safety Team, continued: ‘Research shows that a significant proportion of drownings involve people visiting pubs and bars near water and then getting into distress. It could be someone taking a seemingly innocent swim and suffering cold water shock, or it could be through an accident where someone never intended to be in the water.’

‘Staff at these places will be our advocates in waterside environments, and are the ones most likely to be there at times where risk is most prevalent. The idea behind training staff or volunteers at pubs bars and restaurants is they will be able to encourage good behaviours in that environment by giving the public knowledge and advice, and they will ultimately know what to do if someone did enter the water.’

The initiative coincides with the RNLI’s annual national drowning prevention campaign, Respect the Water. The campaign aims to encourage people to make themselves aware of the potential dangers of the water and take steps wherever possible to minimise the risk of being on or near water. It is part of the charity efforts towards the goal of halving the number of accidental coastal deaths by 2024.

Some basic safety information the RNLI is urging people to remember is:

  • People who fall into cold water follow the same instinct, to gasp, thrash about and swim hard. But this is the worst thing to do – it increases chances of water entering your lungs and increases strain on your heart.
  • If you fall into cold water, fight your instinct to swim hard. Instead just float until you can regain control of your breathing before then trying to swim to safety or call for help. You’ll have a far better chance of staying alive.
  • If you see someone else in trouble in the water, fight the instinct to go in yourself. Call 999 or 112 and ask for the coastguard.

Broads Authority Chief Executive, John Packman welcomed the Waterside Community Responder initiative when he said: ‘We want everyone to enjoy the waterways within our National Park safely. Thankfully the vast majority of the 8 million visits to the Broads every year pass without incident but any move that can help minimise the risk of tragic accidents has to be a good thing.’

The RNLI is now appealing for managers and staff at pubs, bars and restaurants to come forward and register their interest for training. More information can be found by visiting this website


Crew launch to missing swimmer at 2am

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.

Welcome to Happisburgh lifeboat station