Newhaven RNLI tow drifting fishing vessel clear of Channel lane

Lifeboats News Release

Pagers raised Newhaven Lifeboat’s volunteer crew at 4:14am on Thursday 17 February. The Severn class all-weather lifeboat 'David and Elizabeth Acland' was launched to a 30 metre fishing vessel that had lost its rudder.


30m fishing vessel drifting in the Channel
The 30 metre fishing vessel was drifting in the Channel’s Traffic Separation Scheme (TSS) with six crew on board.

Newhaven Lifeboat and her six volunteer crew launched into rough sea conditions with storm force winds and poor visibility.

Once on scene 7NM south of Beachy Head, Newhaven RNLI assessed the situation and made the decision to tow the casualty vessel to a point of safety.

Lewis Arnold, Coxswain, says, ‘Given the tide, wind and sea state, we headed for a safe anchorage in the lee of Beachy Head. A commercial tug was en route with an ETA of 16 hours.’

The tow was successfully set. Once the Lifeboat and casualty vessel reached calmer waters, the fishing vessel’s anchor was deployed.

‘We stood by until the vessel was holding anchor.’

Newhaven RNLI volunteer crew returned to station, with pagers back on at 1.38pm.

Gary Marsh, Deputy Launch Authority, says: ‘Our volunteers are the backbone of the RNLI and the lifesaving work we do. We are currently recruiting Inshore Lifeboat crew in Newhaven.’

Inshore Lifeboat crew applications, for persons living and working in Newhaven and immediate surrounds, can be made via:

Notes for the Editor
TSS - Traffic Separation Scheme. Over 400 commercial vessels use the Dover Strait every day. It’s under full radar surveillance and operates a Traffic Separation Scheme with two lanes running through the strait for inward and outward-bound traffic. The rules for navigating in or near a TSS are internationally agreed.
ETA - Estimated Time of Arrival
NM – Nautical Miles

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Newhaven Lifeboat tow drifting fishing vessel out of Channel to safety

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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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