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Eastbourne Lifeboats in search below cliffs at Beachy Head

Lifeboats News Release

Both Eastbourne RNLI Lifeboats were launched early this morning (30th May) along with local Coastguard cliff rescue units and rescue helicopter 163 following a report that a car had gone over the cliffs at Beachy Head

Dover Coastguard received the initial call via mobile phone from two people aboard a small rowing dinghy who observed the wreck of a car beneath the cliffs at Beachy Head. Fearing that people may have serviced the fall and were trapped inside, a full search and rescue scenario was initiated. Whilst the other rescue services were searching between Holywell and Birling Gap, Eastbourne all-weather lifeboat located the first informants, who were still in the area, to obtain more information. Further questioning revealed that they hadn't actually seen the vehicle fall from the cliffs but had simply reported the vehicle on the beach. Having established the exact location of the wreck, confirmed by the first informants, the volunteer crew of Eastbourne inshore lifeboat went ashore to investigate. They were able to confirm that the wreck was from a previous incident and had been on the beach for some time. The rescue services were stood down with thanks from Dover Coastguard, the incident being logged as a false alarm with good intent.

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

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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