In addition to being afloat on standby duty for the duration of the Eastbourne Airbourne air display weekend the volunteer crew of Eastbourne lifeboats were also called upon to deal with a number of emergencies
On Thursday morning at 07.30, before the air display got started, both boats were requested to launch to assist in the search for a missing person last seen in the Beachy Head area. Fortunately the person was found safe and well by police officers and the lifeboats were stood down. Sunday proved to be the busiest day of the weekend. At 10.00 both boats were launched in immediate response after a speedboat was seen to somersault and capsize in the air display flight area trapping at least one person under the upturned hull. Ex lifeboat crewman Michael Wishman, acting as a safety marshal on his jet ski for Airbourne, was on scene within minutes and bravely dived under the speedboat, released the injured occupant and dragged him to the surface. Having established the person was on his own he was taken ashore by local lifeguards for further treatment by paramedics. The all-weather lifeboat (ALB) took the partially submerged speedboat to the shore where it was beached by waiting officers from HM Coastguard.
At 11.30 the ALB was tasked to assist a local angling boat which was experiencing fuel supply problems off Cooden Beach. The vessel was escorted to the safety of Sovereign Harbour. At 1.30 the inshore lifeboat (ILB) went to the assistance of a dinghy which had been swept under the pier and had become trapped. No sooner had that situation been dealt with the ILB was re-tasked to assist a windsurfer whose craft had suffered a broken mast. The surfer and his equipment were taken to the beach from where he had originally launched. At 4.30 the ALB was requested to assist a motor cruiser with 11 people on board which had got a rope entangled in its propellers. The vessel was towed to the locks at Sovereign Harbour.
Whilst all this action was unfolding two ILB crewmen, Dean Parker and Alex Emberley were undergoing their final assessments to become ILB Helmsmen. Both passed with flying colours, congratulations to both.