Disabled yachts keep Eastbourne Lifeboat busy

Lifeboats News Release

In separate incidents three yachts have got into difficulties whilst attempting to reach the safety of Sovereign Harbour this week, each sending out Pan-Pan distress calls.

Rescued vessel being towed into harbour

RNLI/Trevor Phillips

Eastbourne’s all-weather lifeboat (ALB) was requested to launch at 10.30pm on Sunday when the first distress call was received by HM Coastguard. A 14 metre yacht with 5 people (and a dog) on board suffered engine failure and other technical issues which meant they were unable to hoist their sails. Drifting dangerously close to the beach 10 miles east of Eastbourne the emergency call was put out. When on scene volunteer crewman Jim Edwards transferred to the yacht to assist with connecting the tow and immediately befriended Red the dog that curled up next to Jim and fell asleep! The yacht was towed to safety with the volunteer lifeboat crew being stood down in the early hours of Monday morning.

On Wednesday evening a lone yachtsman in his 10 metre vessel also suffered engine failure and was attempting to sail to Eastbourne. Having battled against wind and tide all day he became exhausted and called for help. Once again the volunteer ALB crew were quickly on scene and towed the vessel to the safety of Sovereign Harbour.

On Thursday evening a visiting 11 metre French yacht put out a distress call when it too suffered engine failure. With some confusion as to the exact location of the stricken vessel it was finally located off Cooden. Once again a tow was connected and the vessel was taken to Sovereign Harbour.

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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 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and 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.

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