LIFESAVING volunteers had a busy bank holiday weekend after responding to multiple incidents on the water.

The Harwich RNLI crew were tasked to various incidents over the Easter weekend.

All-weather lifeboat Albert Brown launched about 11.45pm on Saturday, to carry out a search in the River Orwell following reports of a red flare.

However, despite both the Harwich and Felixstowe and Holbrook Coastguard Rescue Teams conducting the search, no evidence of distress was found.

Adrian Jenner, a member of the Harwich crew said the teams said an "extensive search of the riverbanks" took place but there was "nothing seen or heard".

The Harwich crew was stood down at 3.05am before returning to the station.

The following day at 5.45pm, the inshore lifeboat Tierney, Harvey and Sonny Reid was launched following reports of a dinghy with what appeared to be a person hanging onto the stern drifting downriver off Wrabness beach.

Upon investigation, however, the crew discovered it was a set of wheels hanging over the stern.

They ensured the dinghy was safely secured above the high-water tide line before returning to the station to prepare the inshore lifeboat for its next service.

Lastly, on bank holiday Monday, at 4.06pm, the Harwich inshore lifeboat launched to assist an inflatable dinghy with two people on board off Manningtree. 

The dinghy was a tender to a larger boat and the people were unable to reach shore after losing their oars overboard. 

The inshore lifeboat located the dinghy and took it in tow to Stour Sailing Club at Manningtree.

It was then handed over to the Holbrook Coastguard Rescue Team.

David Thurston, launch authority at Harwich, said: "I phoned the Coastguard to establish the tasking and authorised the launch of the ILB. 

“Being close to high water there would be sufficient water to navigate safely up to the incident.

“The casualty was quickly located and the ILB crew towed them to the Stour Sailing Club as this was the safest option as we could not leave them without any means of propulsion.”