Three vessels suffering various degrees of mechanical failures were recovered by the volunteer crew of Eastbourne lifeboats over the weekend along with support of the Beachy Head Lighthouse challenge. 

On Saturday the all-weather lifeboat (ALB) assisted an 8 metre cruiser with two people on board which had run out of fuel off Holywell at the western end of Eastbourne promenade. The vessel was taken under tow, with newly qualified Deputy Coxswain Dave Needham at the helm, back to Sovereign Harbour. Later in the evening both boats were at Beachy Head to support walkers who were attempting the annual challenge to walk around the lighthouse at low water.

On Sunday morning the volunteer inshore lifeboat (ILB) crew were requested to recover a body from the foot of cliffs at Beachy Head. The casualty was taken to the ILB station and passed to the Police Coroner. At lunchtime the ALB crew were paged to go to the aid of a 37ft yacht which was suffering with jammed sails and a seized gearbox off Beachy Head and was drifting west in the strong tidal flow. The vessel and its two occupants was collected and towed back to Sovereign Harbour. Whilst the volunteer crew were dealing with this incident reports came in about a second yacht in the same vicinity which had picked up discarded rope around its propeller and was unable to make progress against the tide. Since the second vessel was in no immediate danger the original tow was completed and the ALB then made full speed to the second casualty. Once again a tow was rigged and the 10 metre yacht with its two occupants was towed into harbour where it was passed to a waiting marina work-boat.

Image: ALB collects cruiser with Dave Needham in command for the first time