Image: Eastbourne ILB
Whilst the public were enjoying the summer sunshine Eastbourne lifeboat volunteers were kept busy on Sunday afternoon with three call-outs involving visitors being cut off by the tide and overdue kayakers.
The unseasonal weather brought many extra visitors to town to enjoy the sunshine and beach. Unfortunately some were not aware of the potential dangers of walking along remote beaches without consulting tide tables. The first call to Eastbourne lifeboats for assistance was received shortly after 1.00pm when a frantic phone call was taken at Dover Coastguard from a group of two adults and a child cut off by the tide at Whitbread Hollow, a rocky shoreline west of the popular Holywell beaches. The volunteer crew of Eastbourne’s inshore lifeboat (ILB) were scrambled and on scene soon after. They found the casualties, cold wet and in a state of anxiety, one of whom had sustained cuts and scratches after scrambling over rocks to raise the alarm. They were taken back to Holywell to await the arrival of an ambulance.
No sooner had the volunteer crew returned to station and made the ILB ready for service then the pagers again called them into action. Another person had been reported as being cut off by the tide, this time under the cliffs in the Birling Gap area. Again the crew made their way at full speed to the location. They found the frightened casualty and took her aboard the ILB and returned her to the steps at Birling Gap where her adventure had started. No sooner had they seen the casualty to safety another message was received from the rescue centre at Dover Coastguard. Two kayakers were long overdue prompting concern from friends and family. The ILB crew conducted a thorough search as they returned to station, stopping and interviewing kayakers along the way. The alert was finally cancelled when the kayakers returned to shore. The ILB was finally stood down at 5pm after a busy afternoon.