LIFEBOAT crews saved a woman who was in distress in the sea during a dramatic early morning rescue.

Clacton’s RNLI was called to the scene, west of Clacton Pier, by the UK Coastguard following reports of someone entering the water at about 2.20am on Friday.

Spokesman Richard Wigley said the D Class lifeboat completed an initial search around the pier posts but did not find the woman.

However, after speaking at length to police officers, who were in contact with the witness, the crews were able to ascertain exactly where the woman had entered the water.

Mr Wigley said: “They were able to confirm when and where the person had entered the water, as they had gone in themselves to help, but was soon getting out of their depth and returned to shore to raise the alarm.

“With this added information the helmsman was confident the person was still out there and would need assistance in locating them.

“He requested the launch of Clacton’s Atlantic class lifeboat and was informed the police helicopter was on route to assist.

“Due to being so close to shore radio communication with UK Coastguard was very poor, so a volunteer at Clacton’s lifeboat station was at the radio relaying messages throughout.”

Clacton and Frinton Gazette:

  • At work - the RNLI launched two lifeboats

After calculating where the woman was most likely to be, the crews began searching closer to Martello Bay in a zig zag pattern in a bid to scour as much area as possible.

A second crew on an Atlantic Class lifeboat, did the same, starting from Martello Bay towards Jaywick.

Mr Wigley said: “Within minutes of launching the casualty was spotted with their head just above the water, approximately 30 metres from the Atlantic class lifeboat.

“Both lifeboats headed straight for the casualty whilst requesting an ambulance to rendezvous with the lifeboats and casualty at the lifeboat station.

“The volunteer crew of the Atlantic 85 extracted a female from the water and on the arrival of the D class, quickly transferred them for a speedier recovery to the beach.

“Once ashore, a volunteer who is also a full-time paramedic jumped aboard the lifeboat and began the initial assessments before reaching the lifeboat station.”

The woman was then handed over to the East of England Ambulance Service for further treatment.

Helmsman Joff Strutt said: “It was a great team effort by all involved resulting in a life being saved.

“The first informant did the right thing by not getting out of their depth and returning to shore to raise the alarm, as the information they gave was invaluable in locating the casualty quickly.

“We strongly recommend not to go in after people or pets, as too often you can get caught out and need rescuing too.

“Call 999 and ask for the Coastguard, and if safe to do so, stay on scene until help arrives.”