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Long day for Lifeboat volunteer crew

Lifeboats News Release

The day started early for Eastbourne RNLI’s volunteer crew (21 April) first with a dawn lift-out of the all-weather lifeboat for routine maintenance and antifouling then a call-out to assist a disabled yacht

Eastbourne all-weather lifeboat Diamond Jubilee was lifted out of the water early in the morning for its routine inspection and maintenance. Crew and supporters turned up in overalls armed with wire brushes and paint rollers and set to work removing marine growth and renewing the antifouling. With a good job done the lifeboat was craned back into the water shortly after 4pm. In less than two hours the pagers summoned the weary crew to launch to an emergency off Beachy Head.
A 30ft yacht was returning to Eastbourne with two people on board when it suffered engine failure. Unable to sail against wind and tide, rapidly going backwards and with no electrical power to radio for help, the skipper had to resort to a mobile phone to call for assistance. Fortunately there was a mobile signal and eventually HM Coastguard was alerted who requested Eastbourne RNLI to respond. Leaving Sovereign Harbour at low tide the lifeboat with its volunteer crew set out to rendezvous with the yacht some 2 miles south of Beachy Head. Soon on scene a line was attached and the yacht was slowly towed back to Sovereign Harbour. When there was sufficient water under the yachts keel it was taken into the safety of the marina locks. The lifeboat was refuelled and made ready for service with the crew finally returning to their families at 9pm after a long hard day.              

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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Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries

Members of the public may contact the RNLI on 0300 300 9990 or by email.


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