Eastbourne RNLI’s all-weather lifeboat went to the assistance of a 50ft yacht on Wednesday evening after it had suffered a mechanical failure and was unable to enter harbour.
The yacht was on passage from Dover to Southampton with two people on board who had intended to stay overnight at Sovereign Harbour. When the crew tried to furl the yachts headsail the furling gear suffered a malfunction and they were unable to get the sail down. It being far too dangerous to try and negotiate the harbour entrance with the large sail still hoisted they had no alternative but to call for assistance. Eastbourne’s ALB was scrambled and quickly covered the short distance to the disabled yacht. Two volunteer lifeboat crew members were put aboard the casualty vessel and manually furled the headsail. They stayed aboard whilst the yacht made its way into the marina locks under its own power with the ALB acting as escort.