Shortly after 8am the lifeboat was requested to launch to assist the yacht which was firmly stuck in the mud in the entrance channel to the marina. Unable to free the vessel without risking damage, the volunteer lifeboat crew deployed anchors both fore and aft to secure the yacht to await the flooding tide. The six people on the casualty vessel opted to stay aboard whilst the lifeboat returned to station to keep watch with the crew remaining at immediate readiness. Later in the morning, when the water level had risen sufficiently, the ALB returned alongside the yacht, recovered the anchors and towed the vessel to deeper water. Having checked to ensure there was no damage the yacht continued on its passage to Ramsgate.
The 70 tonne Royal Sovereign suffered a recurrence of mechanical problems whist engaged in engine trials two miles South of Sovereign Harbour. Eastbourne’s all-weather lifeboat collected the casualty and towed it to the safety of the marina.
Over the weekend the volunteer crew of Eastbourne’s inshore lifeboat were requested on separate occasions to assist Dover Coastguard with the recovery of two casualties from the foot of Beachy Head cliffs. In both incidents the casualty was passed into the care of the police coroner.
Eastbourne lifeboat regatta is to end in its current format with the final cheque presentation taking place recently at the lifeboat station at Sovereign Harbour
The Eastbourne Regatta was started back in 2004 by Mark Robinson and Mark Sawyer, second coxswain and coxswain of Eastbourne Lifeboat, with help from members of their crew and other volunteers. Mark coordinated lifeboat crew and their friends and families in helping stage the event which over the ten years generated in excess of £80,000 for the RNLI. The event has been supported by Bates Wharf, Premier Marinas, Harveys Brewery from Lewes and Mercedes Benz of Eastbourne. Additional funds were raised through revenue generated by advertising and sponsorship of the races by a great number of local businesses. Attending the cheque presentation were Simon Yates from Harveys and Graeme Dengate from Mercedes.
Presenting the cheque Mark Robinson said: “I would like to thank everyone, especially the crew and their wives and families that have helped run this event and so raise funds for our lifeboat station. There are too many to mention individually but a big thank you to everyone. I would also like to thank all the companies that have supported the event through advertising, sponsorship or providing help in other ways. With the development of the remaining sites on the harbour it is time to call it a day for the event as we have run it, although there will still be a regatta over the August bank holiday weekend run by Sovereign Harbour Yacht Club.”
The cheque for £12,542.79 was presented to Dr Colin McKee and will be used towards the running of Eastbourne Lifeboat station.
Eastbourne lifeboats were requested to launch three times on Saturday, first to assist a large commercial fishing vessel and later to a group in a small fishing boat who had got into difficulties.
Eastbourne’s largest commercial fishing vessel requested assistance when it lost power during machinery trials just outside Sovereign Harbour on Saturday morning (21 Feb). In no immediate danger and under tow from another member of the fishing fleet, Eastbourne’s inshore lifeboat (ILB) was requested to launch to assist with the transfer of personnel between the vessels and provide a brake for the difficult manoeuvre of entering the marina locks. Once through the locks the ILB assisted the vessel to dock and then returned to station.
Later in the afternoon the ILB was again requested to launch in response to an urgent call for help from a group in a small fishing boat. Information regarding the location of the casualties and their situation was confused and despite the volunteer ILB crew assembling and launching within a few minutes nothing was found. As a result of the negative first sweep along the coastline, Eastbourne’s all-weather lifeboat (ALB) was requested to join the search. Shortly after the ALB arrived on scene the casualties were observed on the beach with an ambulance crew in attendance apparently cold and frightened but otherwise unharmed. Both boats were then stood down.