Image: Eastbourne ILB

A yachtsman sailing single handed got into difficulties on Thursday afternoon whilst attempting to enter Sovereign Harbour prompting an urgent response from Eastbourne Lifeboat.

The yachtsman sailing his 9 metre craft was preparing to enter Sovereign Harbour after crossing the English Channel from Boulogne when a stray rope became entwined around the boat’s propeller rendering the engine inoperable. Unwilling to enter the narrow harbour entrance under sail alone he requested assistance from the marina. Unable to assist, the marina passed the request to Dover Coastguard who in turn requested the launch of Eastbourne lifeboat. The volunteer helmsman of Eastbourne’s inshore lifeboat (ILB) was already on station preparing for an evening training exercise which helped facilitate a rapid launch. After an uncomfortable trip against wind and tide the volunteer ILB crew were soon on scene and a towline rigged. The casualty vessel was then taken to the safety of the locks at Sovereign Harbour.