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Weekend rescues for Eastbourne Lifeboats

Lifeboats News Release

The crew of Eastbourne lifeboats were kept busy at the weekend not only attending the 999 Emergency services event on Western Lawns but also being called into service on a number of occasions.

ILB tows speedboat

RNLI/Jim Edwards

Speedboat being towed to safety by ILB

The crew started the 999 weekend with a demonstration by the all-weather lifeboat (ALB) off the Wish Tower and the inshore lifeboat (ILB) on the lawns where the public were able to try get up close, try on the crew’s safety equipment and view videos of recent rescues. With glorious weather the event proved to be one of the best attended in recent years.

At 2.15pm on Saturday (8 July) the ALB was called into service when a charter fishing vessel with nine people on board suffered a mechanical failure 11 miles east of Eastbourne and was left drifting in the tide. As the ALB was approaching Sovereign Harbour with the stricken vessel under tow the crew saw a small yacht trying to enter the marina under sail being blown aground against the harbour arm. The vessel under tow was quickly secured in the marina locks and the ALB returned to the aground yacht. By this time another vessel had attempted to re-float the yacht but had unfortunately broken the steering. The ALB pulled the yacht clear of the seabed and it too was taken to the safety of the marina locks.

On Sunday morning just before the opening of the 999 event the ILB launched to assist a speedboat which had suffered engine failure and was being pushed ashore in the surf. To complete a busy period the ILB launched again on Monday evening when reports came in that four Kayakers were in difficulty off Eastbourne pier. When the ILB arrived on scene the kayakers had managed to get ashore and were safe and well.

Angling boat under tow

RNLI/Bob Jeffery

Charter angling boat under tow by ALB

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.

Learn more about the RNLI

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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