Couple cut off by rising tide rescued by Newhaven RNLI

Lifeboats News Release

Newhaven Lifeboat and her volunteer crew were requested for launch by HM Solent Coastguard to assist an incident initiated by Sussex Police searching for two casualties in the vicinity of Cuckmere Haven at 8.30pm on Monday 1 June.

Newhaven crew and rescued casualties wearing PPE on board Severn class lifeboat and launched Y-boat.

RNLI/Will Morris

Newhaven Lifeboat launch Y-boat to transfer rescued casualties to shore.

A search had been conducted by the HM Coastguard Rescue Team (CRT) west of the Cuckmere River. Once the Severn Class lifeboat – the David and Elizabeth Acland – approached the approximate location, lifeboat crew searched with binoculars. They were able to identify the casualties approximately seven hundred meters east of the Cuckmere River.

The casualties were spotted standing on a slippery chalk boulder. This was confirmed by the HMCG CRT officers on scene along with Sussex Police, both positioned within one nautical mile, but on the other side of the river so unable to access the location.

The casualties had been cut off by the rising tide. Unable to make safe progress along the shore, they had scrambled beneath the cliff, up and away from the water.

Due to the casualties' location and the over-hanging cliff face, the only option for safe rescue was by using the smaller inflatable Y-boat which sits within the larger all-weather lifeboat. The lifeboat operated as close as possible, respecting the depth of water, whilst the Y-boat was prepared for launch. Coxswain Lewis Arnold used the loudhailer to make contact with the casualties, advising them to stay where they were. The Y-boat was launched with two crew.

The crew successfully extracted one casualty at a time and bought them back to the lifeboat. Once on board, the lifeboat made a course to the west of the Cuckmere River, transferring the casualties one at a time by Y-boat again to shore where they were met by HMCG and Sussex Police.

Once both casualties were ashore, the lifeboat was stood down with thanks.

The crew maintained social distancing guidelines as far as possible at all times. On return to the station, the crew decontaminated the vessel and their kit, making the lifeboat available for service again.

Newhaven Coxswain, Lewis Arnold, said, ‘Wind and tide make the coastline a potentially treacherous place. Even in fine weather we urge locals and day-trippers alike to check the tides before they set out, and always let someone know where you’re going and when you’ll be back.

'If you spot anyone in difficulty in the sea, please call 999 immediately and ask for the coastguard. We'd rather launch to someone who doesn't need our help than not hear about someone in trouble until it's too late.'

END

Media Contacts:

Rosalind Ashton, volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer, Newhaven Lifeboat Station (07900) 887423 rozhouchin@mac.com

Julie Rainey, South East Regional Media Manager, 07827358256, julie_rainey@rnli.org.uk


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 over 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

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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.

Newhaven Lifeboat launching Y-boat.

RNLI/Will Morris

Newhaven Lifeboat launch Y-boat to rescue casualties cut off by the tide beneath the cliffs east of Cuckmere.
View of dusk horizon from interior of Newhaven Lifeboat.

RNLI/Will Morris

Newhaven Lifeboat returning station after successful rescue of two casualties cut off by rising tide at Cuckmere.

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 over 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and, in a normal year, 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.