Lucky escape for two men stranded off Brancaster

Cheque presentation at RNLI Old Hunstanton'LtoR, Ian Grimes (Motorbike blood delivery service) (S.E.R.V.), Robin Rafferty. ( Lifeboat Operations Manager), Jerry Futter ( Worshipful Master) and Tony Cassie ( Charity Steward ) ANL-150315-083553009
Cheque presentation at RNLI Old Hunstanton'LtoR, Ian Grimes (Motorbike blood delivery service) (S.E.R.V.), Robin Rafferty. ( Lifeboat Operations Manager), Jerry Futter ( Worshipful Master) and Tony Cassie ( Charity Steward ) ANL-150315-083553009

Robin Rafferty

The two men, who are believed to be from the Boston area, issued a mayday call after their vessel sprung a leak on Tuesday night.

The two men were able to launch the raft before their 28ft boat, believed to be a ship’s life boat, went down.

Humber Coastguard scrambled a rescue helicopter along with the lifeboats from Hunstanton and Skegness after receiving the mayday call at around 11pm.

The Hunstanton crew picked up the pair off the coast of Brancaster Staithe .

Hustanton’s Lifeboat Operations Manager Robin Rafferty has praised the professionalism of all the rescue crews involved in this mission.

He said: “The two men had a lucky escape and if they did not have the life raft they would have been in the water for about 30 minutes.

“They were shocked and shaken but in good spirits.

“They were disappointed to have lost their boat.

“All of the crews did extremely well on a really black night.

“It can be difficult to spot a little thing floating on the water at night.”

The two men were travelling from Wells to Boston when their vessel sprung a leak at around 11pm.

They had a VHF radio on board but were unable to get this to work.

Fortunately they were able to raise the alarm by contacting the Humber Coastguard via their mobile phones.

Lifeboats from Hunstanton and Skegness along with a rescue helicopter were then launched to searched the area.

The helicopter discovered the two men floating in a life raft off the Brancaster Staithe.

Hunstanton Lifeboat picked up the two men and their raft.

They returned to Hustanton where the two men were checked over by ambulance crews before making their way back to Wells.

This is the second mayday call staff at Humber Coastguard has received in a week.

Now Mr Rafferty is urging people to ensure their boats are seaworthy before setting out.

He said: “Before making any passage make sure your boat is surveyed if it has not been looked at for a while. Make sure it is fit for the trip.

“I would also advise people to make sure that radios and phones are working before setting out.”

Hunstanton crews have had busy weekend after being scrambled on Saturday to help a stricken fishing boat.

The boat had broken down at Woolpack buoy, at the entrance to The Wash and contacted Humber Coastguard.

It was towed back to Thornham Harbour by the crew.

The RNLI relies on public donations to keep the services running across the country and saving lives.

If you would like to support the brave crews at Hunstanton go to www.rnli.org.uk