The coastguard has rescued 17 people – along with two dogs and a rabbit – left stranded overnight on mudflats.
The mission, on Breydon Water in Norfolk, took place after two cruisers ran aground in low tide. It involved two lifeboats and a helicopter.
Eleven people were winched by the helicopter, while the rest of the group – including the animals – were taken off the other cruiser by boat.
They all had to spend the night on the water before the early-morning rescue.
Joe Coglan, who was on one of the boats, said his family was undaunted by the experience and had decided to hire another cruiser, staying on an extra day.
The drainage engineer said he had only been concerned for his six-month-old daughter, Myla.
He praised the lifeboat service, saying: “The rescue was very well done; they’re saviours really.
“If it wasn’t for them we’d probably still be there.”
According to Great Yarmouth and Gorleston RNLI, and the Hemsby lifeboat, the alarm was raised on Saturday afternoon.
Both cruisers had become stuck on the mudflats on the River Yare due to an ebbing tide.
Local marine engineers notified the coastguard after trying to reach the occupants of the hire boats.
The low tide meant a rescue of the holiday-makers was not immediately possible, Great Yarmouth and Gorleston RNLI service said. The mission began at 04:50 GMT on Sunday.
Hemsby lifeboat service deployed its flat-bottomed vessel, used to navigate the shallow waters of the Norfolk Broads, to carry out one of the rescues.
The adults aboard, including a pregnant woman, and six-month-old Myla – and the three pets – were taken off that stricken cruiser.
Coxswain Daniel Hurd said the cruiser’s engine had broken and the boat was listing (leaning), meaning “those on board were in some danger”.
“I’d say they were extremely lucky,” said Mr Hurd, when asked about the level of danger they were in.
The group, from Hastings in Sussex, were taken to a nearby yacht station. They had been on a weekend break in Norfolk.
A rescue helicopter was despatched by Humber Coastguard after it became clear crews would be unable to reach the 11 people stranded aboard the second cruiser, due to the tides.
People were winched, mostly two at a time, and taken to a nearby rugby field.
Hemsby lifeboat remained in the area on standby in order to keep the waterway clear while the helicopter winch took place.
No-one needed hospital treatment, the lifeboat services said.
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