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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 twenty-four 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.

Happisburgh Lifeboat Day & Fete a Success

We had a very successful and exciting day yesterday at Happisburgh where the weather was very kind to us.

The crew and helpers had an early start to get the site prepared for the 12noon start with a wide range of games, competitions, food and drink as well as educational activities.  From the start we had a very large number of visitors partaking in all the activities, enjoying the excellent weather and sitting enjoying the live band throughout the afternoon.

We had the RNLI Community Safety Team giving advice on how to stay safe near water and how to enjoy themselves.  Part of this was the attendance of RNLI Lifeguards giving similar advice.  The Ambulance Service First Responders were also teaching visitors how to do CPR as well as giving us First Aid cover.

The RAF Neatishead Museum brought their Jaguar simulator for people to climb inside and experience the feelings of being inside a jet fighter. HM Coastguards were also in attendance.  People had the opportunity to play on a wide variety of traditional fete games like Splat the Rat, Frog game, crockery smash, welly throwing and coconut shy as well as enjoying a hog roast and BBQ, bar and teas/coffees.

Visitors also had an opportunity to meet the crew, find out what it’s like to be part of a Lifeboat crew and how to become a volunteer with the RNLI.

At 3.30pm both of Happisburgh’s lifeboats were launched along with the support of RNLI Lifeguards to put on a display of how all three work together to save lives at sea.

The fete drew to an end at 4pm with us raising approximately £7,000 in the 4hrs, which shows a fantastic effort by all involved.  We would like to say a huge thank you to all our volunteers, supporters and visitors for making this such a successful day and look forward to seeing you next year on Sunday 2nd August 2020.


Crew Paged to Search for Windsurf Board

Happisburgh Volunteers were called into action tonight, 14 July at 7:25pm, to reports of a ‘query’ orange and green kite or wind surf board floating off Ostend ramp.

The UK Coastguard received reports of an object floating in the sea off Ostend and requested the launch of Happisburgh Atlantic Lifeboat through our Deputy Launching Authority, Colin Flemming, who set the crew pagers off.

Howard Bell was soon on the water with Christian Larter on helm, Martin Gibbs, Sean Thurston and John Holsworth as crew and proceeded to Ostend ramp where they commenced their search. They worked down the coast towards Happisburgh then proceeded back towards Ostend, extending their search seaward.  Approximately 600 metres off Ostend ramp the crew found a lime green fishing box with orange netting.  This was reported to Humber Coastguard.  The crew were then requested to carry on searching South as far as Reef Three at Sea Palling.  After two and a half hours of searching the crew had completed their search pattern, as requested by Humber Coastguard, but had found nothing else so were stood down.  They returned to Station and were ready for service by 9.50pm.

Helm, Christian Larter, said ‘The boat and crew had worked well together.  Bacton coastguard had provided valuable information from their vantage points at Ostend ramp and the clifftop at the old Coastwatch, Happisburgh’.

Community Safety Team Share Lifesaving Techniques at the Royal Norfolk Show

RNLI volunteers were at the Royal Norfolk Show. The Community Safety Team and RNLI Education spent 2 days in the Broads Village, working with the Broads Authority to inform visitors on how to stay safe near water and help others who find themselves in trouble in the water.

The volunteers were talking to children, parents and grandparents, informing them how to stay safe near water; sadly around 150 people drown each year and 50% of these had no intention to go into water when they left home. So the first message they got over was FLOAT FOR YOUR LIFE – if you fall into water, fight your instinct to swim until the cold water shock passes, float to live.

If you fall unexpectedly into water:

  1. Fight your instinct to thrash around
  2. Lean back, extend your arms and legs
  3. If you need to, gently move them around to help you float
  4. Float until you can control your breathing
  5. Only then call for help or swim to safety

The practical part was education on using Throw Line:

Dave is in trouble! He’s fallen in the water, he doesn’t have a life jacket or buoyancy aid on and he’s getting cold, can you help? Grab a throw line and see if you can HELP.

With the help of RNLI volunteers and Broads Rangers they were shown what a throw bag is and how to get help by phoning 999 and asking for the Coastguard then how to use the throw bag and have a go.

Throw Bags are at all Broads Authority moorings on the broads; a lot of people had seen them but did’t know what they were for or how to use them.  After their talk and practice throwing they were happy to use them and help save a life.

People were very interested in the throw line, not only people who own boats but those who live by or near water; these people were given information on how to obtain throw lines. This puts more aids near water to save lives.

Robert Mann, Community Safety Officer at Happisburgh RNLI, said “It was a very worthwhile 2 days; the number of people of all ages who were aware of our FLOAT campaign was very pleasing and shows the message is getting out and hopefully the number of drownings will fall.  The large number of people trying the throw lines who would be happy to use them to help people in trouble, will also help save lives”.

Jim Page, Education Officer at Cromer RNLI said “Being able to interact with so may people was the best way to get our message over, especially with the hot weather on its way and the likelihood of more people being near the water”.

At the end of the second day the RNLI Vounteers took part in the Sunset Parade in the main ring.

Lifeboat Launched to Mystery Object In Sea

Happisburgh Lifeboat called out to investgate mystery yellow and green object

 Today 22 June 2019 Happisburgh Coastwatch lookout saw an object off the coast off Happisburgh, they in turn called UK Coastguard who informed our volunteers.

Cubitt Siely, Lifeboat Operations Manager, set the pagers off at 4:11pm and the Station’s Atlantic Howard Bell was on the water in ten minutes, with Charlotte Siely on the helm and Martin Gibbs, Chris Rigsby and Louise Brooks as crew. After ten minutes they found the the object off Bacton which turned out to be a twelve foot string of sixty yellow and green balloons. These were recovered from the water before the crew carried out a search of the area but found nothing more.

Howard Bell then returned to Station and was recovered and made ready for service again by 5:10pm.

Charlotte Siely said “if anyone loses balloons or inflatables that then get blown out to sea please call UK Coastguard and inform them of what has been lost”.



Today’s call out was the second for Chris Rigsby and Louise Brooks, two of our newer volunteers.

Lifeboat Launched to Suspected Body Off Happisburgh


Happisburgh RNLI volunteers were called into action Friday 14th June 2019 at 5:30pm to an object in the water 400m off Town Gap, Happisburgh.

The UK Coastguard alerted Deputy Launching Authority, Paul Broomfield with the information; he in turn alerted the crew to launch the Station’s D Class lifeboat Russell Pickering to investigate the object.  Within minutes the Lifeboat was on the water with Tim Grimmer as helm and Sean Thurston and Jon Newton as crew.

Russell Pickering was soon off town gap and, with Bacton Coastguard with the caller, soon established that the object was in fact the Wave Buoy which is operated by the Environment Agency.

This was a false alarm with good intent. Tim Grimmer said “if you are not sure of what you are seeing and worried then call 999 and ask for the Coastguard; the most important thing for the caller to do is to stay and watch the object until the Coastguard and Lifeboat arrive on scene so the object can be checked.  This is what this caller did. If he had not stayed and observed the object then there would have had to be a full scale search.”

Russell Pickering returned to station and was ready for service at 6:10pm.

This was the first shout for Jon Newton.

Atlantic Launches to Cruiser with Engine Problems

Happisburgh Lifeboat Volunteers were called into action tonight Sunday 9th June at 7:20pm to go to the aid of a 31 ft cruiser that had broken down off the coast at Happisburgh Lighthouse.

Deputy Launching Atuthoriy Paul Broomfield was alerted by the UK Coastguard and in turn alerted the crew for a launch of the Station’s Atlantic Howard Bell with Jake Munday on the helm and Martin Gibbs, Sean Thurston and Chris Rigsby as crew.

Howard Bell was soon alongside a 31 ft cruiser which had lost power with four persons on board; Martin Gibbs and Sean Thurston were put on board the cruiser to try to get the cruiser underway.  They managed to get the engines started again but after 5 mins they stopped; the crew were unable to get them restarted. They then rigged for towing the cruiser to Great Yarmouth.

Once underway the Lifeboat was only making a speed of 6 knots which would have taken them till after 11pm to arrive at Great Yarmouth.  The crew informed  UK Coastguards and Caister Lifeboat was launched to come up the coast to meet them and then take over the tow to Great Yarmouth.  The transfer of tow took place off Horsey at 9:30pm.

 Once the tow was safely handed over to Caister Lifeboat the Howard Bell returned to Station and was rehoused and made ready for service by 10pm.

This was the first callout for Chris Rigsby. Jake Munday said “this was a good job and the crew all worked well together and it is always good to work with other Lifeboats”

Lifeboat Launches To Injured Walker

Happisburgh Lifeboat volunteers were called to the aid of an injured female on the beach at Happisburgh this morning 27th May 2019.

The Station’s deputy launching authority Bob Mann was alerted at 10am by the UK Coastguard, and informed  that a female was on the beach injured. The Coastguard team requested evacuation by Lifeboat due to the fact that she was below the old Coast Watch lookout with no vehicular access. The station volunteers were paged and the station’s D Class “Russell Pickering” with Tim Grimmer and Jake Munday as Helm and Martin Gibbs and Sean Thurston as crew were launched to her aid.

On arrival the crew worked with the Coastgaurd team who had walked along the beach; they were joined by the paramedic to package the patient before transporting her back to station by Lifeboat. Then on arrival back at station they floated “Russell Pickering” back on to her carrage and returned to the boathouse to tranferr the patient to the awaiting ambulance, before being transported to hospital for ongoing treatment.

The crew made “Russell Pickering” ready for service at 11:30am.

Tim Grimmer said  “it is aways good to work with other emergency services and help towards the care of the patient. If you are in trouble on the beach or sea then dial 999 and ask for the Coastguard for help”.

Interested in becoming a crew member?
The charity welcomes people from all walks of life and no previous sea-going experience is needed to join the lifeboat crew. The RNLI provides fantastic training to turn ordinary people into lifesavers. By volunteering with the RNLI people will gain some great experience, knowledge and skills.

Happisburgh RNLI are always looking for new volunteers to help run the lifesaving service.  If you are aged 17 or over, physically fit, work or live within 10 minutes of the lifeboat station and eager to join a lifesaving organisation then please come by and say hello.

Volunteers meet every Sunday morning at 9.00am and Tuesday evenings at 7.00pm for their weekly training exercises.