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Eastbourne Lifeboat rescues 120 tonne vessel

Lifeboats News Release

The volunteer crew of Eastbourne lifeboat were paged at 1.30pm on Friday to assist the largest vessel in the local commercial fishing fleet which had lost all power when its propeller became obstructed.

The 120 tonne Royal Sovereign was working six miles offshore when ropes became entangled around the propeller of the single engine anchoring the vessel to the seabed. Unable to manoeuvre or clear the obstruction the crew had no option but to request assistance. The Royal Sovereign’s sister ship Beachy Head which was also working in the area came to assist and managed to cut Royal Sovereign free but the propeller was still jammed. The lifeboat crew attached a towline and the delicate operation of guiding the heavy casualty through the narrow entrance to the marina locks began. Beachy Head attached a stern line to the casualty and acted as a brake as lifeboat Coxswain Mark Sawyer skilfully threaded the convoy through the locks into Sovereign Harbour.
Convoy entering Sovereign Harbour

RNLI/Bob Jeffery

Entering Sovereign Harbour
Entering locks at Sovereign Harbour

RNLI/Bob Jeffery

Entering Locks at Sovereign Harbour

RNLI/Bob Jeffery

Tight fit in the locks
Finally coming alongside

RNLI/Bob Jeffery

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

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