HARD-WORKING lifeboat volunteers were called to nine incidents in just five days, including to people caught out by the rising tide at Harwich’s Stone Pier.

Harwich RNLI responded to a series of emergencies over the weekend, leading to a renewed appeal for people to wear a lifejacket on the water.

The first incident took place on Thursday at about 11.42am and saw the station’s inshore lifeboat called to the aid of a kayaker who had capsized on the river Deben.

The kayaker was transferred to the lifeboat before being left in the care of coastguards.

On Friday, the crew was called to three incidents on the river, including to two kayakers in difficulty near Waldringfield, which led to the volunteers to spotting another who was clinging to his craft on a strong tide.

A spokesman for the crew said concern was heightened by the kayaker not wearing a lifejacket.

Just 90 minutes later they were called to five people on a speedboat that had run aground on a sand bar.

They were taken ashore to the awaiting coastguard team on Felixstowe beach.

On Saturday, while taking part in a flotilla as part of Felixstowe’s Festival of the Sea, the inshore lifeboat was diverted to ensure the safety of spectators caught out by the rising tide at Stone Pier.

They helped spectators make their way off Stone Pier, as water lapped over the top.

Just after 5pm a reported fire aboard a vessel off Felixstowe saw both lifeboats launched, but the vessel had extinguished the fire on its own.

There were three further incidents on Monday, including an 18-metre catamaran losing both its rudders, a sailing vessel reportedly taking on water, which turned out to be a false alarm, as well as a motorboat that had broken down at the entrance to the river Deben.

Lifeboat operations manager Peter Bull said: “I’m so proud of how the whole team has come together to ensure that they and the lifeboats were always ready to answer the call throughout such a period of high demand for the charity.

“I can’t stress enough the importance of a suitable lifejacket for your chosen water-based activities, such as kayaking.”