Lifeboats from Eastbourne Newhaven and Shoreham along with coastguard rescue helicopters from Lydd and Gosport were involved in a fruitless search throughout Thursday afternoon and evening for a commercial fisherman lost overboard from his vessel.
The lifeboats were requested to launch at 12.46 pm by the rescue co-ordination centre at Dover Coastguard when the man was reported as falling overboard whilst attempting to free an obstruction around the boat’s propellers in a position approximately 30 nautical miles SSW of Eastbourne. Using computer generated models which calculate the effects of wind and tide the lifeboats, along with other commercial vessels which had arrived to help, conducted a comprehensive expanding search of the entire area. Tragically the man was not found.
As darkness fell the search was abandoned and the rescue fleet returned to their respective bases. The volunteer crew of Eastbourne lifeboat arrived back at Sovereign Harbour shortly before midnight and having refuelled the boat and made it ready for service were eventually released in the early hours of Friday morning after over 12 hours of service with the grateful thanks of all concerned.
Key facts about the RNLI
The RNLI charity saves lives at sea. Its volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service around the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland coasts. The RNLI operates over 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and, in a normal year, more than 240 lifeguard units on beaches around the UK and Channel Islands. The RNLI is independent of Coastguard and government and depends on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824, its lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved over 142,700 lives.