Date 2nd August 2014 Berwick   Report no. HB96


Berwick RNLI launches for the third time in a week after a suspected body was spotted in the sea



Berwick RNLI launches for the third time in a week after a suspected body was spotted in the sea off Berwick Holiday Camp.


Humber Coastguard requested the launch of both Berwick lifeboats and requested the assistance of RAF helicopter 131 from Boulmer to take part in the search on Saturday 2nd August at 16:50, after having received a call from a member of the public and Police that they had spotted a body wearing a white tee-shirt in the sea. 


A search was carried out around the Greenses Harbour and Sharpers Head,  with a small inflatable dingy being found by the search teams. Robert Frost, Helmsman of the inshore lifeboat commented, ‘because of the big swells the helicopter gave a position to the ILB  crew to search in a particular area, it was a tricky situation having to veer down with the inshore lifeboat and keep the boat stable.’


At 17:20 whilst RNLI launch crew, other lifeboat crew and officers were awaiting news at the lifeboat station, it came over the radio that a sighting had been made.  The atmosphere was one of a deadly hush coming over the station whilst waiting for the worst possible news, everyone having their own private thoughts.  It was eerie waiting and watching the helicopter go backwards and forwards and listening to what was happening on the radios.


The audible sigh of relief when the news came over the radio that the search was being stood down and that it had been a seal with a white under belly that had been spotted and all rescue crews could return safely home at 18:30. The incident was recorded as a false alarm with good intent.





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For more information please telephone Hazel Bettison, Berwick RNLI Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer on  07944757578 / 01289331448 or Tom Wakenshaw, Berwick RNLI lifeboat operations Manager, on 

07802 940662.


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Key facts about the RNLI

The RNLI charity saves lives at sea. Its volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service around the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland coasts. The RNLI operates over 230 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and has more than 100 lifeguard units on beaches around the UK. The RNLI is independent of Coastguard and government and depends on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824 its lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved over 137,000 lives. The RNLI is a charity registered in England, Scotland and the Republic of Ireland. 


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