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Newhaven and Eastbourne RNLI volunteers respond to Mayday emergency

Lifeboats News Release

Newhaven and Eastbourne lifeboats responded yesterday afternoon to an emergency Mayday distress call from a twin engine motor cruiser when a suspected fire was discovered on board.

The Eastbourne based cruiser was motoring off Cuckmere Haven when the skipper became aware of what appeared to be smoke coming from the engine compartment of his vessel.

Mindful of a recent incident off Eastbourne when a similar vessel caught fire and sank, the skipper shut down his engines and put out a Mayday distress call. The rescue co-ordination centre at Dover Coastguard took control of the situation and requested the immediate launch of Newhaven RNLI’s Seven class lifeboat which was soon on scene.

A lifeboat crewman was put aboard the stricken vessel and was able to establish that there was no fire risk but that one engine had become severely overheated and was letting off thick clouds of steam.

Following discussions between Eastbourne and Newhaven lifeboats and Dover Coastguard it was decided that it was safe for the cruiser to make its own way back to Eastbourne using its remaining engine. Newhaven lifeboat escorted the cruiser to Beachy Head where Eastbourne lifeboat took over the precautionary escort back to Sovereign Harbour.            

Notes to editors

Eastbourne has celebrated over 185 years as a lifeboat station and currently operates an all-weather Tamar Class lifeboat ‘Diamond Jubilee’ and an inshore D-Class lifeboat ‘Laurence and Percy Hobbs’.

RNLI media contacts

For more information please contact Bob Jeffery, Eastbourne RNLI Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer, on 07802 878017,
• Tim Ash, RNLI Public Relations Manager (London/East/South East) on 0207 6207426, 07785 296252
• James Oxley, RNLI Press Officer (London/East/South East)
0207 6207425 / 07786 668825
For enquiries outside normal business hours, contact the RNLI duty press officer on 01202 336789
RNLI duty press officer 01202 336789



Key facts about the RNLI

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution is the charity that saves lives at sea. Our volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service in the United Kingdom and Ireland from 238 lifeboat stations, including four along the River Thames and inland lifeboat stations at Loch Ness, Lough Derg, Enniskillen, Carrybridge and Lough Ree. Additionally the RNLI has more than 1,000 lifeguards on over 240 beaches around the UK and operates a specialist flood rescue team, which can respond anywhere across the UK and Ireland when inland flooding puts lives at risk.

The RNLI relies on public donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. As a charity it is separate from, but works alongside, government-controlled and funded coastguard services. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824 our lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved at least 140,000 lives. Volunteers make up 95% of the charity, including 4,600 volunteer lifeboat crew members and 3,000 volunteer shore crew. Additionally, tens of thousands of other dedicated volunteers raise funds and awareness, give safety advice, and help in our museums, shops and offices.

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The RNLI is a charity registered in England and Wales (209603) and Scotland (SC037736). Charity number 20003326 in the Republic of Ireland