ALB stands by as helo 163 hovers over wreck

Both Eastbourne RNLI Lifeboats were launched early this morning (30th May) along with local Coastguard cliff rescue units and rescue helicopter 163 following a report that a car had gone over the cliffs at Beachy Head.

Dover Coastguard received the initial call via a mobile phone call from two people aboard a small rowing dinghy who observed the wreck of a car beneath the cliffs at Beachy Head. Fearing that people might have survived the fall and were trapped inside, a full search and rescue scenario was initiated. Whilst the other rescue services were searching between Holywell and Birling Gap, Eastbourne all-weather lifeboat located the first informants, who were still in the area, to obtain more information. Further questioning revealed that they hadn’t actually seen the vehicle fall from the cliffs but had simply reported the vehicle on the beach. Having established the exact location of the wreck, confirmed by the first informants, the volunteer crew of Eastbourne inshore lifeboat went ashore to investigate. They were able to confirm that the wreck was from a previous incident and had been on the beach for some time. The rescue services were stood down with thanks from Dover Coastguard, the incident being logged as a false alarm with good intent.