Seven suspected illegal immigrants from Ukraine were discovered on a 28-foot yacht stranded on the mud at the mouth of the River Ore.
Aldeburgh’s two lifeboats responded to the incident on Sunday 30 April.
While on exercise the RNLI Aldeburgh all-weather lifeboat (ALB) was diverted, at the request of Humber Coastguard. Soon afterwards the inshore lifeboat (ILB) was also launched, in the River Alde, and proceeded via the River Ore to assist the stricken yacht.
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Aldeburgh ALB stood by just outside the river mouth. On arrival at the scene, the ILB crew discovered that the yacht was inside the river mouth and was in danger of running aground again, after it had initially managed to refloat. A tow was eventually secured and the casualty vessel was taken to Orford Quay.
A Home Office spokesperson said: ‘Border Force and Suffolk police were contacted at 11.45am on Sunday, 30 April regarding a boat stuck in the River Ore. The coastguard intercepted and towed the vessel to safety.
‘Border Force officers were deployed in conjunction with Suffolk Police and seven individuals were arrested in relation to immigration offences.
‘Hennadi Kurtoglu, 48, has been charged with facilitation and appeared before Norwich Magistrates Court yesterday (Monday, 1 May).
‘Removal proceedings have begun against the remaining six individuals who are all believed to be of Ukrainian origin.’