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Newhaven in missing vessel multiagency search on weekend of engine failures

Lifeboats News Release

RNLI Newhaven’s Severn class lifeboat ‘David and Elizabeth Acland’ and her volunteer crew launched at 2.43am on Sunday 22 August to join a multiagency search for a missing RIB with two persons on board.

RNLI/Rosalind Ashton

RNLI Newhaven’s Severn class Lifeboat ‘David and Elizabeth Acland’
HM Coastguard shoreside and rescue helicopter 175 searched the coast off Worthing for four hours alongside RNLI crews from Shoreham, Brighton, Selsey and Newhaven.

Newhaven Lifeboat searched east of Rampion wind farm for the reported over-due missing vessel in very dark sky.

The casualty vessel was located by rescue helicopter 175 south east of Shoreham. The casualty vessel had suffered engine failure. The two casualties were taken on board by RNLI Brighton and the RIB towed back to safety.

Newhaven Lifeboat returned to station and were back on pagers at 4.48am ready for service.

Also this weekend, on Saturday 21 August, Newhaven Lifeboat received two launch requests by HM Coastguard in just over an hour. Both incidents to unconnected vessels with engine failure.

The first tasking at 2.59pm was to assess the situation of a 6.5 metre fishing vessel with engine failure off Old Nore Point two miles west of Newhaven Harbour, 500 yards off shore.

Lee Blacknell, Newhaven’s duty Coxswain, says ‘The casualty vessel, with six persons on board, was holding on an electric anchor, but there was concern over the battery.’

It was concluded the safest course of action was to tow the casualty vessel into Newhaven, the closest harbour.

Shortly after returning the fishing vessel safely alongside, Newhaven Lifeboat picked up a VHF request for assistance by a vessel in Seaford Bay at Tidemills, just outside the bathing buoys. The Lifeboat liaised with HM Coastguard. The second launch in just over an hour was made at 4pm.

Again the Lifeboat was tasked to assess the situation of the vessel suffering engine failure. Coxswain Lee Blacknell and his volunteer crew set a tow, awaiting the Transmanche Dieppe ferry departure, before proceeding and putting the casualty vessel alongside at the visitors pontoon.

Lewis Arnold, Newhaven’s Coxswain, says ‘Situations can develop unexpectedly at sea. A vessel with engine failure is especially vulnerable. We are glad all three of our service calls in the last 24 hours have concluded positively.’

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.

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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.