Boat full of beer rescued off coast
PUBLISHED: 14:31 21 May 2019 | UPDATED: 17:03 21 May 2019
Courtesy of The Norfolk Brewhouse
A boat full of beer has been successfully towed to port during an eight hour operation after it lost power some 35 miles off the coast.
The Viking vessel was sailing from Rouen to Great Yarmouth when it found itself drifting and at the mercy of the waves.
The ship Amitie is carrying a friendship ale, brewed in collaboration with a Normandy brewer and The Norfolk Brewhouse.
She was due to arrive in full sail in Yarmouth on Wednesday morning at 8am, but engineers have been unable to fix her.
Instead the beer will be taken to Coldham Hall by road, where it will be distributed among a flotilla of smaller boats on Thursday as planned.
A rescue mission was launched at 3.45pm on Monday May 20 when Harwich RNLI's volunteer crew was scrambled to assist the 23m long sailing boat.
The vessel with 11 people on board was stranded approximately 35 miles southeast of Landguard Point and needed help to reach safety.
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A spokesman said it took an hour and a half to reach the vessel which was slowly towed to Harwich, entering the harbour just before midnight.
Harwich RNLI's press officer, Daniel Sime, said: "This was a lengthy call out for the station, and certainly the longest call out of the year so far. "Great commitment from the crew as always, with some of the crew approaching the end of their working day, and then going on a service call lasting eight hours, the equivalent of a further working day.
"As a station we were very pleased to able to assist, it's what we're here for, and we're glad to see the vessel and occupants safely in Harwich."
It is being sailed over from France for the Norwich City of Ale festival, recreating the route of the Caen stone which built Norwich Cathedral and Castle, and celebrating 60 years of being twinned with Rouen.
David Holliday of The Norfolk Brewhouse said: "They are Vikings and they are determined to get here. They have been very touched by all the support on social media."
The Norwich City of Ale Festival runs from Thursday May 23 to Sunday June 2.
The city-wide celebration of beer sees 43 pubs taking part and seven ale trails across Norwich with the chance to explore new pubs and visit historic buildings along the way.