Norfolk Broads rescue: 16 people, two dogs and a rabbit saved after cruisers run aground

  • Watch the moment people are plucked to safety

Sixteen people, two dogs and a rabbit have been rescued from two holiday cruisers which ran aground on mud flats at Breydon Water on the Norfolk Broads.

The holidaymakers were stranded overnight after getting into trouble at 4pm on Saturday.

Lifeboat crews said they had either missed or ignored signs to keep within a deep water channel in the stretch of water near Great Yarmouth.

The RNLI Gorleston lifeboat tried to rescue the holidaymakers early on Sunday but the water was too shallow for their boat.

Thumper, the rabbit rescued by Hemsby Lifeboat crew from a listing boat on Breydon Water Credit: Alan Jones/Hembsy Lifeboat

A crew from the independent lifeboat station at Hemsby were able to use their flat-bottomed Broads lifeboat and took off six people including a pregnant woman and baby from one of the cruisers.

One of the two dogs being rescued from a stricken holiday cruiser Credit: Great Yarmouth and Gorleston RNLI

They also rescued their two dogs and a rabbit called Thumper.

The family were on holiday from Hastings in East Sussex.

Lifeboat crews at the scene of the drama Credit: Alan Jones/Hemsby Lifeboat

Daniel Hurd, Hemsby Lifeboat coxswain, said: "It was a first for us, rescuing a rabbit.

"We did ask why it was on board and were told by a woman that she couldn't find anyone to look after it so she decided to bring it on holiday too."

Two dogs and a rabbit safe and sound on dry land after holiday cruiser got into trouble on mud flats Credit: Great Yarmouth and Gorleston RNLI

Ten people from the other cruiser were rescued by coastguard helicopter. All are safe and well.

Both cruisers are currently listing badly but the water is too shallow for salvage teams to get to them.