RNLI called out by Happisburgh Coast Watch / Yacht in difficulty

Life Boat Launch

On Wednesday 8 July 2015, around 16:35, following some very high winds and heavy rain, John Brooks of Happisburgh Coast watch (HCW) spotted a small sailing vessel about 1nm off the reefs at Sea Palling, which was not making headway. HCW observed the vessel for 5 minutes during which time the sail boat appeared to be in difficulties. The boat was wallowing in the swell, and seemed unable to raise its mainsail due to what appeared to be tangled rigging. HCW called HMCG at approx 16:40 to advise them of the situation.

At 16:45, in reducing visibility, after observing that the sailing boat was drifting nearer the reef, and still not under way, and appearing to be out of control, HCW notified HMCG who then called on Happisburgh RNLI to assist.

At approx 17:00 the lifeboat was launched. Meanwhile the vessel had drifted further round the reefs and was now out of sight of HCW.
The lifeboat reached the vessel around 15 minutes later. The 25 foot sail boat, with one person on board, had been trying to anchor off the reef but had lost one of its anchors. The lifeboat assisted in finding a safer place to anchor. The rigging was also tangled and would have to be attended to before the boat could get underway. The sailor decided to anchor for the night, as the weather was continuing to deteriorate.

Last Friday 3rd July at 14.00hrs a small Topper sailing dinghy was also spotted in difficulties off the shore of Happisburgh beach. The vessel had managed to capsize and the sailor was having difficulty righting the boat. HCW observed the dinghy until it was safely ashore.

HCW provides a surveillance and reporting service along part of the East Coast (between Walcott and Sea Palling), and out past the treacherous Haisboro’ Sands. This service works in close relationship with HM Coastguard, providing alerts and support to incidents that occur along the beach and out to sea. These can involve beach users, sailors, jet-skiers, fishermen, as well as larger commercial vessels.

To join the team, please call Louise Brooks 07976 432019.

To donate by text, text HCWA24 £2 to 70070.

To donate by post send a cheque payable to Happisburgh Coastwatch to 64 Rivermead, Stalham NR12 9PJ

Open Day All Welcome

Happisburgh Coast Watch Open Day

Sunday 24th May 2015

at Cart Gap NR12 0QL

11 till 2

Come and see our new lookout station and meet our volunteers.

Also meet the Coast Guard and RNLI.

Seal Pup Rescue Update

Little seal update. Our pup is a girl and has been called Madame Pomfrey ( Harry Potter theme this year) and is doing very well and eating her fish at East Winch RSPCA wildlife hospital. Apparently seals can deteriorate v quickly, but it’s looking good so far.

Seal Pup Rescued

Happisburgh Coast Watch was involved in the rescue of a seal pup today Friday 10 April 2015.

Initially reported by member of the public to Mike Stevens, we kept an eye on this little pup, notifying the RSPCA that we may need assistance.

Roy Speed and Louise assessed the pup again at 2pm and felt that the pup was indeed quite unwell and had been injured by another seal or dog.

The RSPCA were with us within 2 hours and Roy helped them load the little chap into its crate for its journey to the Sealife centre for some TLC. RSPCA were excellent.


Happisburgh Coast watch is one of an independent group of Coastal Surveillance Stations within (SSG) The Sea Safety Group, a non government organisation in the UK.

These stations assist HM Coastguard in their task of helping people in trouble and saving lives at sea.

Coast watch is a volunteer organisation with its stations and activities supported entirely by charitable donations from the local community.

We have now relocated our watch station to Cart Gap, Happisburgh which will greatly improve our facilities. This gives us better access for our volunteers, allows us to see a broader expanse of beach (from Sea Palling to North of Happisburgh village) and is much closer to the RNLI station.