HARWICH’s lifeboat was called out three times at the weekend as revellers continue to flock to the coast by land and sea to enjoy the warm weather.

During what was to be a busier than usual afternoon for Harwich RNLI and its Atlantic 85 inshore lifeboat, volunteers were called out three times back-to-back on Saturday.

Starting shortly after 2pm, the lifeboat arrived near the Cliff Foot buoy, at the southern end of Harwich harbour, to assist an angling boat which had suffered a power failure with three people onboard.

Once on scene, the crew quickly established a tow and took it, and occupants, back to the Suffolk Yacht Harbour on the River Orwell.

The second incident of the day came just after 4pm after a person was seen looking “exhausted” in the water and struggling to get back aboard their sailing dinghy, having been spotted capsizing several times in Holbrook Bay by an onlooker from the shore.

Fortunately, on arrival of the lifeboat, the sailor had managed to get aboard their dinghy and was sailing back safely to shore.

The final incident came while the crew were washing down and refuelling the lifeboat, having not even removed their dry suits from the previous call-out.

A pan-pan call – in need of urgent assistance but not in immediate danger – had been picked up, made by a 12m long yacht which had run aground in Holbrook Bay.

The boat, with three occupants onboard, had run aground and the tide was rapidly falling.

Attempts were made to tow it into deeper water but were unsuccessful so, with the water dropping away ever-quicker, the lifeboat crew decided to transfer a passenger from the boat to Shotley Marina, leaving the remaining crew members onboard in readiness for re-floating at the next high tide – just after midnight.

Harwich RNLI Lifeboat operations manager, Peter Bull, said: “While everyone is enjoying this amazing weather, the volunteers at Harwich have once again proven that they were willing to leave their families – 32 times already this year - to assist others in difficulty.

“This takes a very special type of person and at Harwich we are very lucky to have some amazing volunteers who are committed to assisting others, to which myself, and the public are truly grateful.

“Without this group of volunteers the outcomes of these callouts could be very different and it is all achieved by donations from the public.

“Without them, we would not be able to provide this valuable service.”