Image: Casualty assisted from the beach

The volunteer crew of Eastbourne RNLI’s inshore lifeboat (ILB) were scrambled at 9.10 this morning in response to desperate calls for help from the partner of a swimmer in difficulties in Eastbourne Bay  

Despite advice to the contrary the male person had decided to attempt swimming to an anchored vessel almost a mile offshore. Caught out by the tide and the chilling effect of the water he soon got into difficulties and was lost to view from the beach. In desperation the partner telephoned Eastbourne Lifeboat Station where fortunately Coxswain Mark Sawyer was on duty who took the call and immediately notified Dover Coastguard. The ILB launched and began searching the area. With nothing found in the initial sweep Coastguard Rescue Helicopter 163 was requested to assist. Shortly thereafter the casualty was seen by the ILB crew staggering out of the water a mile down-tide from his start position.

The ILB crew administered initial casualty care to the swimmer who by this time was confused and very cold. He was then assisted from the beach and passed into the care of a waiting ambulance crew.