The lifeboat from Wells on the North Norfolk coast was launched yesterday evening (Saturday) to help a 28 foot yacht which had run into difficulties. The bilge keel Yacht "Amigo" with 2 persons on-board, was on its way towards Grimsby on a Northerly heading when it ran into mechanical difficulties and was not making any headway. The yacht then reversed its course and started to proceed toward the 'safe port' of Wells.
At 17:20 Humber Coastguard requested that the Wells all-weather Lifeboat be launched, as they were uncertain that the yacht would be able to make a safe landfall and navigate to the safety of the port.
The crew were paged at 17:20 and the Lifeboat left the Boathouse at 17:30. The Lifeboat launched in Holkham Bay at 17:50 and proceeded toward the casualty which was about 40 mins to the Northward in the vicinity of the Docking Shoal. The Lifeboat arrived on scene at 19:25 and escorted the vessel toward Wells.
At 20:50 in the outer approaches to the harbour a crew member was placed on board the Amigo and a towline was attached. The lifeboat entered the harbour channel at 21:00 and towed the yacht to the safety of the outer harbour.
Two people were feared to be in the water off the North Norfolk coast after a kayak was found overturned in the water.
The sighting of the kayak sparked a rescue operation when the alarm was raised a mile north of Burnham Overy Staithe.
It was thought two people had been inside the boat and so the Wells inshore lifeboat team were sent to investigate.
The all-weather lifefboat was then launched to help in the search for the missing crew, but was stood down after the missing persons were found safe on the shore.
Operations Manager Chris Hardy said. "From the land it looked as if there were two people on board and you can't take chances with situations like this. I am pleased that it all ended well in this case."
Charlie Hall, Deputy Chief Constable of Norfolk Police, said that in places the waters exceeded the levels seen in the storm surge of 1953:
In places, water levels were higher than those experienced in the flooding of 1953, when many people lost their lives.
Thankfully that has not been the case on this occasion, a combination of improved defences in place and the concerted efforts of the community, the emergency services and the agencies that have worked to support the evacuation and keep people informed.
Following a meeting of the Government's Cobra emergencies committee, Environment Secretary Owen Paterson warned that the danger was not over:
There will still be exceptionally high tides today and tomorrow and I would ask everybody to pay very close attention to advice from the Environment Agency and also to follow instructions from the police, local government and the emergency services.