A multi-agency effort on Breydon Water saw the lives of 15 people, including a six-month-old baby, plus two dogs and a rabbit rescued when two ships ran aground. Hemsby Broad Rescue was telephoned at 6am this morning by the Humber Coastguard at the request of Gorleston Lifeboat in Breydon Water to report two vessels in distress had run aground.

Gorleston’s Inshore Lifeboat (ILB) was unable to get close enough to assist in the evacuation, so assistance from the flat-bottomed lifeboat was requested. The Hemsby lifeboat managed to dock and was able to evacuate five people on board including a six-month-old baby. There were also two dogs and a rabbit on board the boat.

Those rescued were then loaded onto Gorleston ILB and Everitt Marine Services boats and taken safely to the Yarmouth Yacht station. But it was a race against time for this rescue effort as the tide receded.

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As the second vessel in trouble was not accessible by boat, Rescue 912 (HM Coastguard Helicopter) carried out the evacuation, safely helping 10 people on board to safety. They were winched in pairs into the helicopter and taken to a nearby rugby club where the helicopter landed. The Gorleston ILB and the Hemsby Lifeboat held out as safety cover while the helicopter was at work, but one of the ten people had been safely picked up, they were pulled out and returned to their stations.

On their Facebook page, Hemsby Lifeboat’s post said: “A great multi-agency effort with ourselves, Gorleston Coastguard, Great Yarmouth & Gorleston ILB and Rescue 912. A total of 15 lives were saved. “

Take a look at the gallery below to see the dramatic rescue in progress.