Frantic-weekend-for-Eastbourne-lifeboats

Byline: Any thought of a restful weekend with the family was quickly dispelled for the volunteer crew of Eastbourne lifeboats when they were called into service on no less than 8 occasions
Page Content: The first call out of the weekend on Saturday mo…

Byline: Any thought of a restful weekend with the family was quickly dispelled for the volunteer crew of Eastbourne lifeboats when they were called into service on no less than 8 occasions
Page Content: The first call out of the weekend on Saturday morning was for the crew of the inshore lifeboat (ILB) to assist local coastguard teams with the recovery of a casualty at Beachy Head. The casualty was returned to the lifeboat station and passed into the care of the Police Coroner. Shortly after 10pm both boats were requested to return to Beachy Head, a male was seen to jump from the cliff top and it was assumed they would be required to make another recovery. The casualty was located mid way down the cliffs, so both lifeboats were stood down and the recovery was undertaken by the cliff rescue team. Whilst returning to station the ILB was tasked to investigate reports of a small vessel approaching Sovereign Harbour without navigation lights. The volunteer crew came alongside and were able to establish that the fisherman had no problem and had simply forgotten to turn on his lights. Whilst returning to station the all-weather lifeboat (ALB) developed a mechanical problem.

Sunday was no quieter, having already been out on a crew training exercise in the morning, the ILB was paged shortly after 2.30pm to assist a small angling boat with two people aboard which had suffered engine failure off Langney Point. The vessel was taken under tow back to harbour. Later the ALB crew were scrambled when a large motor cruiser suffered an engine failure and run aground just inside the harbour arm. When on scene it was clear that the vessel was high and dry and any attempt to refloat it would have resulted in severe damage. Four of the six passengers aboard were taken off the vessel and returned to harbour whilst two people stayed aboard to await the rising tide. At 10.30pm both lifeboats were again launched to refloat the cruiser and return it to Sovereign Harbour.

Coxswain Mark Sawyer later praised his crew for not only attending the numerous callouts but for also sacrificing much of their weekend in assisting with the haul-out of the ALB to investigate the mechanical problem encountered. Eastbourne lifeboats also thanked Premier Mariner management and staff for manning the hoist and arranging the emergency haul-out of the ALB Diamond Jubilee.