The crew of the 65ft 40 tonne vessel had alerted Dover Coastguard and marina staff earlier in the day that they were unable to start the yacht’s engine and would require assistance when they reached Sovereign Harbour. Due to the vessels size and weight it was considered prudent by the rescue services that Eastbourne lifeboats should be tasked. The lifeboats along with the marina workboat met the casualty vessel outside the harbour entrance where a towline was rigged. With the inshore lifeboat acting as a brake the stricken vessel was safely towed into the marina locks by the all-weather lifeboat and then passed into the care of the marina workboat.
A lone yachtsman in his German registered yacht got into difficulties whilst leaving Sovereign Harbour on Saturday morning (16 May) when he struck the sunken wreck of the Barn Hill and holed his vessel.
The yacht began taking on water at such a rate that the bilge pumps were unable to cope with the ingress. The yachtsman called for help, first to the marina and then by a ‘Pan Pan’ distress call on VHF radio. Fortunately local fishing vessel Beachy Head was close by and went to the assistance of the stricken yacht. One of the fishermen transferred to the yacht to assist with bailing out the water whilst the vessel was taken under tow back the short distance to harbour. Meanwhile Eastbourne all-weather lifeboat was preparing to launch. The lifeboat’s powerful salvage pump was put aboard the yacht and was able to remove sufficient water to keep the yacht afloat whilst it was taken to the hoist bay for an emergency lift out.
Eastbourne’s all-weather lifeboat went to the assistance of a visiting yacht on Sunday afternoon after it suffered an engine failure.
The 12 metre yacht with four people on board was on passage from London to the Solent when it developed a fuel supply problem. The intended night stop was Brighton marina but the crew decided to put into Eastbourne to address the engine issue. Aware of the yacht’s dilemma, Dover Coastguard requested the launch of Eastbourne lifeboat to assist. With only three miles to run the lifeboat was quickly on scene, a towline was rigged and the yacht towed to the safety of the locks at Sovereign Harbour where it was handed to the marina work boat.