Both Eastbourne lifeboats were called into action last evening (30 July), first to assist a visiting Dutch yacht and later to a large motor cruiser with steering problems.

At 8.15pm a family of four aboard their 37ft yacht reported they had picked up some discarded rope around their propeller and were unable to motor into Sovereign Harbour. In calm conditions Eastbourne’s inshore lifeboat (ILB) was tasked to assist. The yacht continued under sail to the harbour entrance channel where the volunteer crew aboard the ILB connected a towline and took the disabled vessel into the marina locks where it was collected by the harbour work-boat.

At 10.45pm the crew pagers were again activated, this time when the skipper of a 40ft twin engine motor cruiser reported to Dover Coastguard he had lost steering and was making passage to Sovereign Harbour for repairs. Eastbourne’s all-weather lifeboat (ALB) was launched to assist. When the ALB arrived on scene volunteer helmsman Alan Simister was transferred across to assess the cruisers condition. In consultation with the skipper it was decided that Alan would take the helm and bring the vessel into harbour. With the ALB standing by Alan skilfully brought the disabled cruiser into the marina locks by using the twin engines and limited steering.

Image: ILB with yacht in tow approaching the marina locks at dusk