Eastbourne RNLI lifeboat launched to assist disabled yacht

Lifeboats News Release

The volunteer crew of Eastbourne’s all-weather lifeboat were paged just before midnight on Saturday to assist a yacht which had suffered multiple malfunctions.

Volunteer crew preparing to pass towline to disabled yacht

RNLI/Mark Sawyer

Preparing to pass towline to disabled yacht

A couple had set out earlier from Sovereign Harbour to catch favourable tides on their passage to Plymouth. All was well until they rounded Beachy Head and set a new course west when a malfunction in the sail haulage system forced them to change plan and return to harbour for repairs. Soon after turning back the yacht’s engine started to overheat and the skipper decided the safest option was to switch it off and sail under head sail only. HM Coastguard were informed of the couple’s predicament and decided to request the assistance of Eastbourne lifeboat. Quickly on scene a towline was attached and the disabled vessel was taken back to the safety of Sovereign Harbour. Once back in the marina the rescued skipper paid tribute to the volunteer crew saying “you’ve obviously done this before that was a very slick operation”

Key facts about the RNLI

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.

Learn more about the RNLI

For more information please visit the RNLI website or Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. News releases, videos and photos are available on the News Centre.

Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries

Members of the public may contact the RNLI on 0300 300 9990 (UK) or 1800 991802 (Ireland) or by email.