Make time for a Spring kit-check, urge Newhaven RNLI

Lifeboats News Release

The RNLI had a busy weekend along the Sussex coast, including two service calls for Newhaven Lifeboat who rescued drifting paddleboarders and sailors whose yacht became dismasted.


Newhaven Lifeboat rescue drifting paddle boarders
On Sunday 24 April at 2:35pm, HM Coastguard requested the launch of Newhaven RNLI to render assistance to two casualties sharing one paddleboard who were seen waving for help from Seaford beach.

Jane Masey, Newhaven RNLI Volunteer Launch Authority and Water Safety Officer, says: ‘This glorious Spring weather inspires us to get out and enjoy our beautiful coastline. We urge people to run a start of season check over their kit, before setting out on the water.’

Newhaven’s all-weather lifeboat David and Elizabeth Acland launched into a slight sea with good visibility. The lifeboat made best speed to their last known location. The casualities were spotted by a crew member. They were sitting on the upturned paddleboard 1.25NM off the shore of Seaford bay.

Jane Masey, says: ‘Carrying a means of communication to call for help and wearing the appropriate buoyancy aid can save your life.’

The casualties had capsized the board and lost their paddle. They were being carried offshore by the tide and strong offshore force 6 breeze (22-27 knots). Newhaven’s volunteer crew recovered the paddleboarders on to the lifeboat. The lifeboat delivered them back to the beach where Newhaven Coastguard personnel were waiting to greet them.

Jane Masey, says: ‘Whatever your coastal activity of choice, walking, sailing, fishing, paddleboarding, paragliding or simply a leisurely swim – always check the weather forecast before you set out. Specifically, check wind and tide. And let someone know your plans. If you do get into trouble in the water, float to live.’

On Saturday 23 April at 12.44pm HM Coastguard requested the launch of Newhaven RNLI to render assistance to a 31ft yacht, which had been dismasted 3.5NM south of Newhaven with two casualties on board. The David and Elizabeth Acland launched into a force 6 strong breeze with moderate to choppy sea state.

Two lifeboat crew boarded the casualty vessel. They spent over an hour attempting to recover or secure the mast. Sails and boom were recovered, the mast was cut free of the vessel. Once free from the rigging, the yacht’s engine was started and a course set for Newhaven. Shortly after running, the engine failed and the safety decision was made to tow the vessel back to Newhaven harbour. Both sailors were unharmed.

Jane Masey, says: ‘If you get into difficulty along the coast or see anyone in trouble in the water, dial 999 and ask for the Coastguard to call for help.’

Notes for the editor
Newhaven RNLI is currently recruiting new volunteer crew.
Apply here:

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Newhaven Lifeboat rescue stranded paddle boarders


Newhaven Lifeboat return paddle boarders to beach safety


Newhaven RNLI rescue dismasted yacht


Newhaven RNLI launch to dismasted yacht

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

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