Wells lifeboat called to help with search of Stiffkey marshes

The Wells lifeboat. Photo: Wells Lifeboat Day, RNLI

The Wells lifeboat. Photo: Wells Lifeboat Day, RNLI - Credit: RNLI

Wells' lifeboats were called to assist with a search of a north Norfolk marsh after three people were thought to be in trouble.

Views across Stiffkey Marshes. Photo: David Thacker

Views across Stiffkey Marshes. Photo: David Thacker - Credit: citizenside.com

An adult and two children were seen disembarking from a small boat which was stuck in the mud on Stiffkey Marsh in the falling tide.

A call came in from the coastguard at 9.58pm on Friday, June 29 and both the all-weather and inshore lifeboats were dispatched to the search, with conditions described as 'difficult' and 'potentially dangerous'.

The inshore lifeboat, with Max Phillips at the helm and two crew members, was launched at 10.15pm and attempted to reach the vessel via Stonemeal Creek.

A spokesperson for Wells lifeboat station said: 'It was late on the ebb tide and it was not certain if there would be enough water.'

The inshore lifeboat then approached the search site from the sea, alongside the all-weather boat, manned by Mark Frary with five crew members on board.

A coastguard helicopter was also tasked to assist with the search.

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Crew from the inshore lifeboat attempted to reach the shore to carry out a search on foot.

The spokesperson described conditions as: 'difficult with a potentially dangerous surf running and a fast ebbing tide.'

They added: 'As there was no indication that life was at risk, it was decided not to put the crew at risk but to wait for the helicopter to arrive on scene and carry out a search using its imaging equipment.

'The coastguard mobile team had not observed any people in the vicinity of the casualty vessel for some time.'

Both lifeboats waited half a mile offshore until the helicopter arrived on scene at 12.40am.

Conditions were good and the team were able to pick up signals from small mammals.

They did not find any trace of people in the search area between Wells and Stiffkey.

At 1.15am both boats were stood down and returned to the boathouse, where they were refuelled and readied within two hours.

A spokesperson for the coastguard said: 'We received a report on Saturday morning that the boat we searched for last night was still in the marshes.

'When the team went down to check it had gone.'

They confirmed they had no more information about the whereabouts of the people thought to be in trouble but that they were believed to be safe and well.

Do you have any information about this search? Email jessica.frank-keyes@archant.co.uk