Crew go to the aid of a dog reported half a km off the beach at Happisburgh

Happisburgh R.N.L.I. Lifeboat Station volunteers were called into action to go to the Aid of a dog reported 500m off the beach at Happisburgh.

This afternoon Mrs Brooks was walking her dogs along the beach when her six year old Italian Spinone, Clyde, went into the sea swimming after seagulls. Mrs Brooks became worried when Clyde carried on swimming out to sea; she called the Coastguard to ask for help, they in turn asked Happisburgh D-Class to be launched.

Sean Ferguson, Mrs Brooks and Clyde, Tony Phenix, Cubitt Siely, after the rescue-1At 4:24 p.m. Spirit of Berkhamsted left the beach with Cubitt Siely at the helm and Tony Phenix and Sean Ferguson as crew. Within minutes they spotted the dog swimming 500m off the beach; Sean entered the water to help Clyde into the boat, seeing the owner making her way to the Station. They then returned to Station and, as the Lifeboat was removed from the water, Mrs Brooks and Clyde were reunited. Mrs Brooks thanked the crew for all their help.

Spirit of Berkhamsted was refuelled and ready for service at 4:45 p.m.

Video to follow.

VIDEO: Lifeboat called to the aid of Diving Boat ‘Cam Diver’

Happisburgh R.N.L.I. Lifeboat Station volunteers were called into action today, the 27th September, to the aid of ‘Cam Diver’ with five persons on board. The crew had been unable to restart its engine so they called Humber Coastguard, who in turn paged Happisburgh Lifeboat at 12:50pm. “Douglas Paley” was launched at 1 pm with Tim Grimmer at the helm and a crew of Sean Ferguson and John Fryer.

It arrived at the ‘Cam Diver’ at 1:10pm, which was 3 miles off Bacton; the dive boat was then towed back to Sea Palling, where they had started from, arriving there at 1:47pm. “Douglas Paley” then returned to station at 2:10pm.

Spirit of Berkhamsted returns to Station after undergoing refit

Happisburgh R.N.L.I. Lifeboat Station volunteers are happy to see their D-Class, “Spirit of Berkhamsted” return to Station after undergoing her latest refit and service. The “Spirit of Berkhamsted” came into service in October 2003 so is one of the oldest D-Class  lifeboats in the RNLI fleet. However, thanks to this latest refit it is one of the most up to date D-Class in the fleet with the addition of Garmin Radio and SIMS Chart Plotter designed and made by the RNLI.

crew member getting used to the new chart plotter-1“Spirit of Berkhamsted” left the station on the 15th July and returned on the 16th September; the crew have been having training to enable them to operate the new equipment. The radio has DSC (digital selective calling) which is a bit like texting, which helps in sending information more accurately.  Also, in an emergency at a push of a button, they can call for help and send their position to the Coastguard.

The SIMS chart plotter has been put on offshore lifeboats and the larger Atlantic 85, but now it’s started to be fitted to D-Class; it is much easier for the crew to use and it works out search patterns. The AIS (automatic identification system) not only shows the position of the lifeboat at all times, but if the vessel in difficulties has this system the lifeboat can find it on the chart plotter, which will then work out the course to the casualty.

The crew are very pleased with the new equipment and believe it will enable them to do their job of saving lives at sea more efficiently as well as making it much safer for them.


Safety Message for Cart Gap ramp


Coastal safety campaigners for the RNLI in Norfolk are trying a novel approach to getting the charity’s safety messages across: by emblazoning a slogan on a lifeboat station slipway!

Happisburgh RNLI Lifeboat Station’s launching slipway now features the message “Respect the Water”, which acts as a reminder to coast-users that they should not under-estimate the power of the sea.

With more people losing their lives around the coast each year than are killed in cycling accidents, the RNLI’s national Respect The Water campaign aims to make people, particularly men, realise that they are at risk from drowning if they don’t follow some basic but important safety advice.

This is the first time the campaign messaging has been printed onto land, according to Paul Barker, RNLI Community Incident Reduction Manager in the region. He said: ‘As part of our role to get the message over to the public we have had the messaging painted onto the slipway at Cart Gap, a first for the RNLI so I’m told.’

_67850367_67850366Paul has formed a coastal safety team at Happisburgh, comprising three volunteer lifeboat crew members, the station mechanic, and the volunteer lifeboat press officer. He said: ‘They have all undergone training to promote the RNLI’s safety messages. Around 160 people die around the UK coast each year. The RNLI is aiming to halve this number by 2024, with local messaging and safety activity a core part of achieving that aim.’

‘The team have been active already with interventions on the beach at Happisburgh, giving advice to boat owners and visitors climbing on rocks, carrying out lifejacket checks on the Norfolk Broads, all geared towards trying to save lives before the lifeboat is even called into action.

‘The sea is there for us to enjoy but we must be aware of the dangers and act responsibly and safely when using it. Of course we want people to go to the coast and enjoy it – we’re lucky to have an exceptional coastline around the UK – but we want people to understand there are risks, and that they should not underestimate the power of the sea.’

The RNLI’s key advice includes the following messages:

  • choose a lifeguarded beach and swim between the red and yellow flags, where you’ll have professional lifeguards looking out for you.
  • if you want a few drinks in the sun on the beach, remember that alcohol and water don’t mix, so drink after swimming, not before.
  • remember that, despite warm air temperatures, the UK sea temperature is cold enough year-round to trigger cold water shock, so acclimatise gradually in shallow water.
  • don’t over-estimate your ability – the sea is a very different environment to a pool and even the strongest swimmers can tire quickly.
  • if you get caught in a rip current, don’t panic or try to swim against it; swim parallel to the shore until you’re free.
  • to avoid falls, stay away from cliff edges, stick to pathways and read safety signs.

Anyone wanting to contact Happisburgh RNLI Coastal Safety Team can telephone the lifeboat station on 01692 583269 or e-mail for advice or information.





Crew called to investigate anchored yacht

Happisburgh R.N.L.I. Lifeboat Station volunteers were called into action today, Saturday 23rd August, to a yacht which had been anchored of Happisburgh since early morning. Coast Watch at Happisbugh had been keeping an eye on the yacht and had not seen anyone on board so contacted Humber Coastguard, who in turn requested Happisburgh RNLI Lifeboat Douglas Paley to launch in order to check the yacht.

At 1:39pm the Atlantic 75 hit the water with Tim Grimmer at the helm and Charlotte Siely and Jack Torne as crew.  Five minutes later they were alongside “Barjewel of RHU”, where they found the crew safe and well although the yacht had a mechanical problem, which they were working on and expected to finish soon.  Happisburgh crew made sure the crew of the yacht were able to contact Humber Coastguard by radio before returning to station.

At 2.20pm the Douglas Paley was re-housed and ready for service.

VIDEO: Busy 48 Hours for Lifeboat Station volunteers

Happisburgh R.N.L.I. Lifeboat Station volunteers had a busy 48hrs. It all started on 3rd August with the Annual Lifeboat Day and Fete, commencing with an early start to get everything set-up for the day ahead and with the sun shining all was going well.

At 12pm the crowds arrived and all were having fun when at 12:30pm the crew were called into action to go to a May Day call from the Dive-boat “ Thetford Diver”, which was sinking with six persons on board. Happisburgh’s Atlantic “Douglas Paley” with Tony Phenix at the helm and Charlotte Siely and Ross Scannell as crew were soon on their way, much to the delight of the large crowd on the beach, due to the large number of possible casualties the Station’s relief ‘D’ class was also launched as backup with Jake Munday at the helm with Timmy Grimmer and Dave Cato as crew.

The Atlantic arrived on scene, which was off Winterton, at the same time as Caister Lifeboat, which picked up the divers and then transferred two onto Happisburgh’s Atlantic Lifeboat to take back to Sea Palling; en route to Sea Palling one of the divers became unwell so he was treated by the crew before being transferred to the ‘D’ class which then landed on the beach to enable him to be checked over by Ambulance crew. Both boats then returned to Happisburgh to carry on with Lifeboat Day and Fete; all that was left for the crew and volunteers to do was to clear up

The afternoon was very well attended, even though this was the first time the event had been held at Cart Gap. We would like to thank everyone who attended and let them know we raised almost £5,000, of which £1,000 was donated by Mrs Patricia Fox from Cambridgeshire, who has been a long-term benefactor to the Station.

The yacht under tow by Gorleston Lifeboat with Happisburgh still in attendanceOn Monday 4th August the Station’s Atlantic Lifeboat “Douglas Paley” was called into action again, this time to a 12-metre steel hulled yacht off Happisburgh, which had engine problems and was losing its electrics. Cubitt Siely was at the helm with Jake Munday and Charlotte Siely as crew. They were soon alongside the yacht and even though it had its sails up was making only a little headway. It was taken in tow by Happisburgh Lifeboat, heading for Great Yarmouth, until the arrival of Gorleston Lifeboat, which then took over the tow.

“Douglas Paley” then joined Happisburgh’s relief ‘D’ class and Mundesley Lifeboat in a 1hr exercise with the RAF Air Sea Rescue helicopter from Wattisham, practicing winching people on and off the Lifeboats. Happisburgh was able to put 7 of its crew through this training, some of them for the first time; all went very well and both the Lifeboat crews and helicopter crew gained valuable experience.

The above illustrates the commitment that is shown by the RNLI volunteers having to deal with call-outs, training and also raising money to support their role of saving lives at sea.

Come enjoy the Fun of our Fete on Sun 3rd Aug!

“All the Fun of the Fete” – if you are looking for a fun afternoon out, then look no further than Happisburgh R.N.L.I. Lifeboat Day and Fete.

happisburgh-rnliThe place to be is by the sea at the Lifeboat Station, Cart Cap, Happisburgh, NR12 0QL, from 12 to 4pm to be part of the fun, help raise money for a worthwhile charity which saves lives at sea. There are lots to do: BBQ and Hog Roast, Teas, Cake StallBeat the Goalie, Dart Game, Croc Smash, Duck Game, Bottle top game, Bridget’s Game, Frog game, Splat the rat, Bouncy Castle,Books, Bric-a-brac, Souvenirs, Tombola, Over 18’s Tombola, Teddies & Raffle!

Our own printed Christmas cards will be for sale too.

Other Attractions will include Station’s Lifeboats on display, RNLI Lifeguards, wind surfers, model boats and an auction.

For those of you that are fans of music we also have a blues band called “OUTATHABLUES”.

The Station’s newly formed Happisburgh RNLI Coastal Safety Team will be giving safety information and demonstrations, plus more information on the RNLI new campaign, RESPECT The Water.

The day will end with a display by both Happisburgh’s Lifeboats; see them launch and recover back to the beach.

Summer Holidays? Join Storm Force

Storm Force – the Lifeboat club for kids

New crew needed! Join today and receive an exciting Storm Force membership pack full of cool goodies and fun things to do for only £7.50 or €10.50 per year.

RNLI-029_cutout2Discover the exciting world of lifeboats and lifeguards with Storm Force, the RNLI’s club for kids!

Members receive:

  • a membership card with unique membership number
  • a membership pack containing exclusive ‘crew’ bag, pencil tin and contents, stickers, map and colouring poster, postcards and a bumper activity booklet
  • four issues of Storm Force magazine a year; packed with rescue stories, news, activites, comic strips, water safety advice, educational articles and competitions with cool prizes
  • a shiny new badge for every year of membership.

For lots of free online activities or to join click here

Lifeboat called to search for missing local fishing boat

Happisburgh R.N.L.I. Lifeboat Station volunteers were called into action today, 18th July 2014, to a small local fishing boat missing at sea off Happisburgh.

Senior Helmsman, Tim Grimmer, had seen the fishing boat, Sea Hawk, launch at approx 7am this morning into heavy seas. Tim was contacted by a relative of the fishermen when he had lost sight of the boat; Tim alerted Humber Coastguard and the Station pagers were set off at 9:50am.  At 9:58am Douglas Paley was launched into heavy seas with Tim Grimmer at the helm and a crew of Charlotte Siely and Sean Ferguson.

A search was started from the beach to ½ mile off from Cart Gap towards Sea Palling; the crew were south of Sea Palling and thinking of turning north, to carry out a second line of search, when they saw the boat off Waxham at 10:15am.  They went alongside to give aid.

Happisburgh Lifeboat then started to escort Sea Hawk back towards Cart Cap, when they were informed that, as the tide was in, it would not be possible to recover the fishing boat safely.  Therefore, the boat was escorted to Sea Palling, arriving at 10:40am to anchor in the lea of the reefs and to wait for low water to try and recover at Cart Gap; the Lifeboat made sure the boat was safe and that the crew had been given advice, before leaving at 11am to return to Station.

At 11:15am Douglas Paley was recovered by net, due to the sea conditions; the Lifeboat was back on service at 11:30am.

Tim Grimmer would like to remind all people who go to sea, to contact the Coastguard to inform them where they are going and when they are returning, also to let others know what their plans are, to wear Lifejacket and have VHF radios to call for help if needed.  The RNLI is there to save lives at sea but can only do this if people are able to call them to ask for assistance.

20140718_135331_newDespite the strong advice of the Lifeboat to leave it until after 4:30pm to attempt to return to Cart Gap, the crew of Sea Hawk decided to return at 2:30pm when the tide was still high with large breakers. As a result of this the crew were stood in chest high water with breakers crashing over their boat which caused it to capsize.  Luckily no one was injured; there could have been a much more serious outcome had the boat rolled onto the fishermen.

Station volunteers past and present celebrate 100 years of continuous service

Happisburgh R.N.L.I. Lifeboat Station volunteers, both past and present, gathered at the Cart Gap Station last night to celebrate the 100 years of continuous service in saving lives at sea,

past and present-1Over one hundred people gathered to enjoy a hog roast and drinks, looking at photos, history boards of the Station and reliving stories from the past, and seeing how things have changed over the years.

Malcom Vincent presents the Vellum to Cedric Cox-1The evening ended with the presentation of a Vellum, to mark this occasion; this was presented by Malcolm Vincent, a member of the RNLI Council, to Cedric Cox LOM who has been with Happisburgh RNLI for the past 47 years as crew and Lifeboat Operations Manager.

BsWARgCCMAIfOvKEarlier in the day the Station was open for the public to come and view the history of the Station from 1884 through to the present day, look over the Lifeboats and chat to today’s crews.  Resources from these presentations were made available to local groups and historians.

The Station Lifeboat Day and Fete will be held on Sunday 3rd August 2014, from 12noon to 4pm at Cart Gap so come and join the fun

Welcome to Happisburgh lifeboat station