WATCH: Seventeen people including baby rescued from stranded cruisers
- Credit: Hemsby Lifeboat
Seventeen people including a six-month-old baby, as well as a rabbit and two dogs, have been evacuated from two stranded boats in Great Yarmouth.
The rescue took place on Sunday morning (April 24) at Breydon Water and involved Great Yarmouth and Gorleston RNLI, Hemsby Lifeboat, Everitt Marine Services and HM Coastguard.
Shortly before 5am, the lifeboat John Rowntree was tasked by Humber Coastguard to assist with a cruiser that had run aground with 11 people.
The crew sped to the location where they liaised with the vessel Everitt Marine from Everitt Marine Services who explained that two boats were stranded and EMS personnel were on the vessels aiding the passengers.
Crew on the lifeboat John Rowntree then attempted to get close to the second vessel - this had been deemed a higher priority as there was a young mother and baby, and four other people, onboard.
The lifeboat could not get close enough to the stricken vessel, however, due to the ebbing tide.
A decision was made to page Hemsby Broads Rescue who have a flat bottom lifeboat.
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Once Hemsby was on the scene, they managed to get alongside and evacuate the five people on board, as well as a six-month-old baby, a rabbit and two dogs.
The evacuees were transferred onto the John Rowntree who took the mother and baby to Yarmouth Yacht station where they were met by Gorleston Coastguard.
The tide was going out so the rescue was time critical.
The other vessel was not accessible by boat so a HM Coastguard Helicopter was tasked to carry out the evacuation of the 11 people on board.
While this was going on, Hemsby Broads Rescue and Gorleston ILB held off as safety cover.
The helicopter then winched the casualties from the vessel, two people at a time, until six were on the helicopter, which then landed at the nearby rugby club field before returning to winch the remaining five people off the vessel.
Once all the people were lifted to safety, Hemsby Broads Rescue stood down and returned to station.
Daniel Hurd, coxswain of Hemsby Broads Rescue, said: "It was a great multi-agency effort with ourselves, Gorleston Coastguards, ILB and Rescue 912."