Eastbourne all-weather lifeboat (ALB) was launched shortly after 11 pm last night in response to calls for assistance from a Dutch registered yacht with three people on board which had suffered mechanical problems whilst on passage to the Solent 

The crew of the 12 metre yacht had set out very early in the morning with the intention of reaching Brighton for an overnight stop before continuing their passage to the Solent. Having made slower progress than anticipated, they found themselves well short of their intended destination, tired and exhausted with midnight fast approaching. Their plight was further compounded when the yacht’s engine failed making it unsafe to attempt to enter harbour in the prevailing weather conditions.

Despite being well equipped they chose the sensible option of contacting Dover Coastguard for assistance. The Maritime Rescue Co-ordination Centre (MRCC) at Dover requested the launch of Eastbourne RNLI. The volunteer lifeboat crew were paged and were exiting Sovereign Harbour within 10 minutes and on scene with the stricken yacht just 15 minutes later. A tow was rigged and the yacht with its grateful crew were taken to the safety of the marina at Sovereign Harbour. The lifeboat returned to its moorings and the crew disbanded in the early hours of Thursday morning for some well earned rest.