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Marathon search by Eastbourne Lifeboat

Lifeboats News Release

Eastbourne Inshore Lifeboat (ILB) spent almost five hours today searching in freezing conditions and driving rain for a person following the discovery of a motorcycle and clothing found abandoned on the cliff-top at Belle Toute

The volunteer lifeboat crew were paged at 10.30 this morning and tasked to search the shoreline for a person who was thought to have jumped from the cliff-top earlier in the day and been carried away by the tide. Along with coastguard teams from Birling Gap and Eastbourne, coastguard rescue helicopters from Lydd and local police, an exhaustive search was conducted from Birling Gap to Cooden. Mid way through the operation the ILB returned to station for refuelling and for the crew to warm up before returning to sea. Nothing was found and the combined services were finally stood down at 15.15. The ILB returned to station and made ready for service.

Sadly, shortly after high tide the local cliff rescue team discovered the missing body on the beach close to where the initial search began.

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