The volunteer crew of Eastbourne lifeboat were paged at 1.30pm on Friday to assist the largest vessel in the local commercial fishing fleet which had lost all power when its propeller became obstructed.
The 120 tonne Royal Sovereign was working six miles offshore when ropes became entangled around the propeller of the single engine anchoring the vessel to the seabed. Unable to manoeuvre or clear the obstruction the crew had no option but to request assistance. The Royal Sovereign’s sister ship Beachy Head which was also working in the area came to assist and managed to cut Royal Sovereign free but the propeller was still jammed. The lifeboat crew attached a towline and the delicate operation of guiding the heavy casualty through the narrow entrance to the marina locks began. Beachy Head attached a stern line to the casualty and acted as a brake as lifeboat Coxswain Mark Sawyer skilfully threaded the convoy through the locks into Sovereign Harbour.