Eastbourne all-weather lifeboat (ALB) was requested to launch on Sunday afternoon by the rescue coordination centre at Dover Coastguard following reports that a small fishing vessel was drifting helplessly 18 miles offshore 

The volunteer ALB crew quickly assembled leaving Sovereign Harbour at 13.45 and using the lifeboat’s 25 knot capability located the stricken vessel just 40 minutes later. The 24ft fishing vessel with two people on board had lost drive from their engine and was drifting in the separation zone in one of the busiest shipping lanes in the world with giant ships passing close by at speeds in excess of 20 knots. A towline was rigged and the long slow journey back to safety began. With Dover Coastguard issuing safety messages to warn shipping in the area the casualty vessel was towed clear of the shipping lanes and returned to Sovereign Harbour 2 hours later where it was passed to a waiting harbour workboat.