The crew of Eastbourne lifeboats were kept busy at the weekend not only attending the 999 Emergency services event on Western Lawns but also being called into service on a number of occasions.

The crew started the 999 weekend with a demonstration by the all-weather lifeboat (ALB) off the Wish Tower and the inshore lifeboat (ILB) on the lawns where the public were able to get up close, try on the crew’s safety equipment and view videos of recent rescues. With glorious weather the event proved to be one of the best attended in recent years.

At 2.15pm on Saturday (8 July) the ALB was called into service when a charter fishing vessel with nine people on board suffered a mechanical failure 11 miles east of Eastbourne and was left drifting in the tide. As the ALB was approaching Sovereign Harbour with the stricken vessel under tow the crew saw a small yacht trying to enter the marina under sail being blown aground against the harbour arm. The vessel under tow was quickly secured in the marina locks and the ALB returned to the aground yacht. By this time another vessel had attempted to re-float the yacht but had unfortunately broken the steering. The ALB pulled the yacht clear of the seabed and it too was taken to the safety of the marina locks.

On Sunday morning just before the opening of the 999 event the ILB launched to assist a speedboat which had suffered engine failure and was being pushed ashore in the surf. To complete a busy period the ILB launched again on Monday evening when reports came in that four Kayakers were in difficulty off Eastbourne pier. When the ILB arrived on scene the kayakers had managed to get ashore and were safe and well.