22 May 2024

‘A difficult callout’

The crew of Hornsea’s independent lifeboat have told of their “stomach-churning” experience after being called out to search for a missing person during atrocious weather.

At 12.30am on Monday, the Spirit of Hornsea was called out to search for someone who had last been seen on the clifftops north of the town.

Leading coxswain Karl Shannon said: “It was a very dark and rainy night, and we were tasked to do a shoreline search from our boathouse up to Atwick.

“Upon launching we were greeted by some huge waves breaking right over the lifeboat – some of these waves were so huge it made your stomach churn as you dropped off the back of them as you couldn’t see when you were going to land in the next trough. We had to stay as close in as we dare, for at this point we were looking for someone maybe on the beach or the water’s edge.

“This was very tricky as every now and then a huge set of waves would come along, breaking a few hundred yards out, and the only way you could spot them in the dark was when the horizon disappeared.

“Once we had got up to Atwick we were stood down as the missing person was safely in the hands of the police. We then had the tricky task of safely recovering the Spirit of Hornsea as the tide had now come in and was crashing against the sea walls.

“It was a huge relief once we had safely got the boat and crew back in the launching trailer and to the safety of our boat compound. Here the boat and equipment were all washed down and prepared for the next callout. It was a very difficult callout, but the crew are all trained for these eventualities and they performed wonderfully.”

The Hornsea Inshore Rescue crew consisted of leading coxswain Karl Shannon on helm, coxswain Steve Hall and crewman Jake Roberts. Launchmaster was Dale Walker, and the recovery was done by Carl Handley.