Jamie, one of the rescued men
Joff Strutt - Volunteer Lifeboat Man
We have a little bit of sunshine and people start behaving erratically. Motorcyclists weave in and out of traffic at phenomenal speeds; men and boys don shorts and bare their legs in public; plump, middle-aged women dress in tight-fitting Lycra bodysuits and they canter along pavements; kids go mad on their skateboards ………… You’ve got the picture!
This time of year heralds the beginning of the busy season for the RNLI and Her Majesty’s Coastguard.
Typically on a summer Bank Holiday weekend you can expect the RNLI to be in action, and on Monday, the Thames Coastguard were alerted by a distress call via the mobile phone of one of two amateur fishermen drifting offshore in a homemade boat. They were about 200 metres from the beach at Jaywick. Both of their oars had snapped as a result of the men’s efforts at trying to get back against the wind to the beach by the Martello Beach Holiday Park.
Clacton RNLI launched their D Class inshore lifeboat to rescue the men. Volunteer lifeboat man, Joff Strutt, said he had never seen such a craft before. It was made from loft insulation boards, scrap plywood, laminate flooring and wire coat hangers; much of it was held together with silicone adhesive. One of the men was a non-swimmer, and neither were wearing lifejackets.
They were taken aboard the lifeboat and put ashore at Clacton where they were given advice about safety at sea, and they agreed to have their £9 boat destroyed. One of the rescued men, 27-year old Jamie, said the boat that his companion had made was solid and stable. As far as he was concerned, the only thing that went wrong was the oars that had been bought. He declared the trip had been a success because they had caught some cod and crabs, but he was glad he had been assisted ashore.
I can only hope that both men have learnt a lesson, and if they go fishing again, they will go in a suitable boat, and be properly equipped and prepared.
Clacton Fishermen rescued from £9 homemade boat
Clacton Gazette – Two men rescued after drifting offshore …….. in £9 homemade boat
Clacton-on-Sea Lifeboat Station
Clacton Lifeboat Station Rescue File 2015 (Kite Surfer)
Her Majesty’s Coastguard
Maritime and Coastguard Agency
Southend Pier and Lifeboats
Captain Calamity – Stuart Hill