Essex

Walton and Frinton lifeboat crew so far 'very busy'

Rescue from Frinton
Image caption The crew on Serenity were exhausted after dealing with a heavy swell for more than 48 hours

A lifeboat crew in Essex has reported higher than expected levels of activity over the summer so far.

On Saturday, the Walton and Frinton lifeboat went to the aid of a lone yachtsman with engine failure on Gunfleet Sands five miles from Walton Pier.

That was the crew's ninth callout in July, mainly for yachts in trouble.

On 21 July, the lifeboat helped a Sea King helicopter that was unable recover its winch man.

The lifeboat saved the man from the sea, about half a mile from the pier, and he was taken to Walton Pier within six minutes.

Eight hours later, the lifeboat was launched again to assist the 25ft yacht Serenity with two people on board.

"It had been at sea for 48 hours and the two people were exhausted in testing conditions with winds up to force six and heavy swell," a lifeboat spokesman said.

"On arrival near the Sunk Head Tower buoy, 10 miles east south east of Walton, a member of the lifeboat crew was put aboard to assist in connecting a tow line.

"The yacht was then towed to Shotley Marina and the lifeboat returned to station being ready for service at midnight."

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