Peterhead’s lifeboat The Misses Robertson of Kintail is in Sovereign Harbour for an overnight stay on her way back to her home station after repair works at Poole headquarters.
Eastbourne’s inshore lifeboat (ILB) was involved in a joint operation with Solent and Dover coastguards this morning (18 April) when a jet-ski with one person on board began to sink off the Belle Tout lighthouse.
Anxious observers on shore contacted HM Coastguard by dialling 999 on their mobile phones when it became obvious the jet-skier was in difficulties 800 metres offshore. Because the incident occurred on the border between Dover and Solent’s area of responsibility both authorities became involved. When the lifeboat arrived on scene they found a cold and distressed jet-skier very fearful of his own survival with his craft gradually filling with water. The volunteer lifeboat crew took the skier on board the ILB and took his craft under tow. The skier was taken ashore and passed into the care of local coastguard officers who were waiting on the beach. The jet-ski was then taken to the inshore lifeboat station at Fisherman’s Green. When the casualty had recovered his composure and body temperature he was released from the coastguard’s care and collected his craft from the ILB station with his car and trailer.
Eastbourne all-weather lifeboat (ALB) raced to the assistance of a stricken yacht which had lost steerage dangerously close to submerged rocks near the Holywell pleasure beach.
The 37ft yacht put out a Mayday distress broadcast shortly after noon today (17 April) when it suddenly lost steerage under full sail after rounding Beachy Head in a brisk SW wind. Being rapidly blown towards submerged rocks at an area known locally as The Pound the crew were left with no alternative but to request immediate assistance. The distress broadcast was simultaneously picked up by the rescue co-ordinating centre at Dover Coastguard and the Coxswain of Eastbourne lifeboat who put out a page for the crew to assemble and launch immediately. Meanwhile the crew aboard the stricken yacht were frantically trying to drop their anchor and reduce sail.
Soon on scene, the ALB found the yacht with their anchor deployed but still struggling with their sails. Lifeboat crewman Richard Larmour was put aboard the stricken vessel to assist the crew and to rig a towline. With the tow attached and the anchor recovered the yacht was towed out to deeper water. Safely away from the rocks the yacht’s crew rigged their emergency steering and deployed a drogue whilst being towed to Sovereign Harbour. Safely in the outer harbour the tow was passed to a waiting marina workboat which took the stricken vessel through the locks and on to a holding pontoon awaiting repair works. Meanwhile the ALB was refuelled and made ready for service.
The Mayor of Eastbourne, Councillor Mike Thompson visited Eastbourne lifeboats this weekend to mark his second year of office.
During the weekend visit Councillor Thompson met the volunteer crew and took the opportunity to present a long service award to crewman Paul Rogers. After a tour of the station with Operations Manager Paul Metcalfe, Councillor Thompson accompanied the volunteer crew for a training exercise aboard the all-weather lifeboat Diamond Jubilee, taking the helm as they made their way to Beachy Head. During the visit Councillor Thompson thanked the crew on behalf of the community for their lifesaving work.