WATCH: Three launches in a week for Berwick lifeboat crew

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A major search and rescue operation was sparked off the Berwick coast on Saturday by a possible sighting of a body in the sea.

Coastguards launched both the Berwick all-weather and inshore lifeboats and requested the assistance of an RAF search and rescue helicopter from RAF Boulmer.

Berwick Lifeboat and inshore lifeboat with rescue helicopter 131 from RAF Boulmer seaching waters near Berwick Holiday Park.

Berwick Lifeboat and inshore lifeboat with rescue helicopter 131 from RAF Boulmer seaching waters near Berwick Holiday Park.

It came following a call at 4.50pm from a member of the public and police that they had spotted a body wearing a white T-shirt near Berwick Holiday Centre.

An extensive search carried out around the Greenses harbour and Sharper Head resulted in a small inflatable dingy being found by the search teams.

For a time there were fears for the worst when a possible sighting was made at 5.20pm but it is thought to have been a seal with a white under belly that had been spotted.

All rescue crews stood down at 6.30pm with the incident recorded as a false alarm with good intent.

Robert Frost, helmsman of the inshore lifeboat, said: “Because of the big swells the helicopter gave a position to the ILB crew to search in various areas.

“It was a tricky situation having to veer down with the inshore lifeboat and keep the boat stable.”

The first call-out of the week came last Wednesday around 4.50pm when the inshore lifeboat was alerted by the coastguard to a dog cut off by the incoming tide at Spittal Point.

Helmsman Kevin Knox said: “At first the dog was growling and would not let us get near it, but after persuading and coaxing it for about ten minutes we were eventually were able to lift it into the boat, where it was then shivering and shaking. We then took it ashore.

“As the dog had no collar on and we could not find its owner we handed it over to HM Coastguard who took it to Bark rescue kennels.”

The alarm was raised a second time when the coastguard received a call at 7.55am on Friday that an overturned canoe had been spotted floating down the river.

Berwick RNLI launched the inshore lifeboat retrieved the canoe then proceeded to carry out a search of the river. The search was called off when the police established that the canoe had been reported stolen the previous day

The crew returned to Berwick lifeboat station where the inshore lifeboat was cleaned down ready for its next service.

It has been a busy period for the lifeboat crew following last weekend’s successful fete at Carr Rock.

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