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UPDATE: Four people rescued on Dutch barge off north Norfolk coast today

PUBLISHED: 17:21 08 August 2011 | UPDATED: 21:00 08 August 2011

Wells Lifeboat rescues the broken down Dutch barge

Wells Lifeboat rescues the broken down Dutch barge

Archant

Four people aboard a 17m Dutch barge were rescued after the boat suffered engine failure and encountered difficulties in strong winds this afternoon.

Four people aboard a 17m Dutch barge were rescued after the boat suffered engine failure and encountered difficulties in strong winds this afternoon.

Wells-Next-the-Sea’s all-weather lifeboat was called to rescue the barge in rough seas off Blakeney Point on the North Norfolk coast.

The 17 metre boat, Angell Hardy 2, had four people on board and was on passage from Grimsby. She was left wallowing in heavy swell and two-metre waves and was unable to anchor because of the conditions.

Wells lifeboat, Doris M Mann of Ampthill, launched at 2.30pm.

She eventually secured a line to the vessel and took her in tow fifty minutes later. The pair then made their way back to Wells harbour.

Conditions were extremely difficult in the head sea as the waves were breaking over the casualty vessel’s foredeck. Care had to taken to minimise the water flooding into the accommodation which was not watertight.

On reaching the harbour entrance at Wells the lifeboat also had difficulty in negotiating the bar in the seas which were beam-on to the two boats.

Despite the lifeboat crew’s best efforts, the barge had taken on a lot of water, so at 5.12pm she was moored up on a pontoon in the outer harbour.

Before leaving the scene, the lifeboat crew used its portable salvage pump to remove most of the water from the barge’s accommodation.

Lifeboat operations manager Chris Hardy said: “This was a difficult operation because of the weather conditions. The wind was gusting up to thirty-five knots and the sea was very rough. It was not the place for a boat of this type to be in these conditions.”

The lifeboat returned to station and was ready for service again at 8pm.

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