Sunshine,Sand and Seals September 2013 - blog post image

Sunshine,Sand and Seals September 2013

  • Caister Lifeboats
  • 18 Sep 2013

How lovely it was to see lots of people enjoying themselves on Caister beach in the wonderful weather we have been blessed with this summer ~ just like when we were kids. It is interesting to see the differences; where-as we just had a bottle of water they have cooler bags, pop-up tents, folding chairs and colourful windbreaks and umbrellas; children have beach ware and sun creams designed to protect them against the strongest rays (of sunshine); we had none of these things, even in some cases knitted swimming costumes, yes knitted, but I can’t remember anyone getting sunburnt writes secretary Derek George.

From the lifeboat point of view it is comforting to know the Coast Watch team are ‘keeping their eye on’ members of the public in the immediate area of the lifeboat station and have had cause to call the inshore boat a couple of times. The inshore lifeboat Fred Dyble was launched twice on Sunday (1st September) to the same kayak which was feared to be in trouble close to the wind farm; firstly he declined help but a couple of hours later asked for help and on Tuesday 3rd to a dingy off Scratby and the crew carried out a further ‘advisory’ rescue on the way home. The service is not exclusive to humans; the ILB was called to rescue a deaf dog which had swum out its depth off Caister Camp and ferried staff out to the sandbank to rescue a seal trapped in fishing nets.

The all weather lifeboat Bernard Matthews ll was called to the yacht Zigzu which was in difficulty 3 miles off Winterton on 22nd August. The yacht, a 37foot vessel weighing some 13 tonnes had suffered a broken water pipe and could not use her engine and with no wind was unable to use her sail. She asked to be towed to Wells but Coastguards requested she be towed toLowestoft where there were better facilities. The tow, against a stiff tide, was restricted to some five knots however the return passage was considerably quicker.

The Caister team were extremely disappointed not to be called to the incident in which a diver unfortunately died off Winterton on Friday 30thAugust and have requested a meeting with Humber Coastguard for an explanation as to why the Gorleston boat was called despite the fact that the Caister lifeboat was six miles nearer the incident and faster by 10 knots which would have made a difference of some 30+ minutes arrival at the scene.

On a happier note what wonderful day ‘fete’ day turned out to be? The media and our organisers had done a wonderful job publicising the event; our supporters had been most generous providing excellent raffle and other prizes; the bouncy castles kept the young people amused, the beer was chilled and above all the weather was perfect. Attendance was certainly a record as were the takings on the day, exceeding £13,000, the best ever. The directors and crew would like to thank everybody who helped, donated or supported the fete day in any way however small.

It may seem to readers that fund raising is foremost on the lifeboat team’s agenda but apart from the £3000 per week needed to maintain the service provided to mariners the unexpected is always around the corner. One of the tracks on the CAT launch tractor was damaged by a flint trapped in one of the driving wheels which necessitated an immediate replacement; cost just over £10,000.

It is hoped work will commence on the new inshore lifeboat shed in September which when finished will relieve the very cramped conditions in the Skipper Woodhouse boatshed which is currently housing both lifeboats. These cramped conditions do not lend themselves to speedy launch times.

Derek George, September 2013

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