Yacht club members rescued after Christmas lunch

Fire brigade called after more than 100 members of Essex Yacht Club got stuck on their floating clubhouse

More than 100 yacht club members had to be rescued from their clubhouse after celebrating their Christmas lunch.

Essex Yacht Club held the function aboard its floating clubhouse, the former Royal Navy minehunter Wilton, at Leigh-on-Sea.

While the lunch was taking place the vessel’s gangway moved, leaving it too precariously balanced to be safely used.

Firefighters were called to the scene and secured the gangplank with a winch before assisting the club members, one by one, to safety.

It took an hour for everyone to be evacuated.

“The crews did a fantastic job,” said divisional officer Martin Powell. “It was an unusual rescue requiring no small amount of innovation on their part to get everyone safely off.”