The volunteer crew of both Eastbourne Lifeboats were on duty for the duration of the Airbourne flying display, patrolling the flight line and rendering assistance when requested to several boaters who had suffered various minor mishaps.
The first request for assistance came on Thursday afternoon as the all-weather lifeboat (ALB) was returning to station following the flying display. The yacht with five people on board had suffered an engine fire and was unable to return to harbour. A volunteer lifeboat crewman was transferred to the yacht to assess the situation. He found the skipper to be unwell; possibly suffering from the effects of smoke inhalation, so he was transferred to the ALB for further treatment whilst the yacht was being prepared for a tow. The stricken vessel was then towed back to the locks at Sovereign Harbour where it was met by a waiting fire crew and ambulance. The yacht’s skipper was taken by ambulance to the local hospital for further investigation while the fire crew made sure the fire was fully extinguished.
During the long weekend both boats dealt with a variety of incidents, mostly involving fouled anchors and ropes being entangled in machinery. No sooner had the inshore lifeboat (ILB) returned to station on Sunday evening then it was re-launched following a report that five people were cut off by the tide at Holywell. After a comprehensive search of the area with nothing found the ILB was finally stood down and the crew were able to enjoy what was left of their weekend