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Eastbourne RNLI launch both boats to assist vessels in distress

Lifeboats News Release

The volunteers at Eastbourne RNLI were paged at 6.35pm on 10 June after a report of a vessel in distress off the beach at Bexhill.

D class lifeboat with four crew on board


Crew of Inshore lifeboat on way to Bexhill
They launched the D class inshore lifeboat with four crew on board and made their way across the bay to Bexhill. Working with a local Coastguard team they located the 7m vessel with four people on board. They carried out an initial assessment of the situation. The 7m vessel had broken down and a second vessel with one person on board who had tried to assist had also broken down. Two of the people of the 7m vessel were starting to feel unwell,

'Due to the situation, fading light, ebbing tide and two casualties starting to feel unwell we decided the best course of action was to commence a tow back to Sovereign Harbour whilst asking for the all-weather lifeboat to assist and take over the two when on scene.' Helm Thomas Mele said afterwards.

The crew requested the assistance of the all-weather lifeboat Diamond Jubilee whilst establishing a tow of both vessels to prevent them from causing a hazard to other vessels. The all-weather lifeboat launched and made way to the inshore lifeboat's location. Once on scene the casualties feeling unwell were taken on board the all-weather lifeboat before the crew aboard the Diamond Jubilee took over the tow of both casualty vessels.

They reached Sovereign Harbour just after 9pm. The all-weather lifeboat brought the 7m vessel into the locks and the inshore lifeboat took the other vessel into the locks. Once both casualty vessels were moored in the harbour, both crews were stood down. The inshore lifeboat returned to station at 9.35pm before being recovered and refuelled.
Inshore lifeboat being recovered on the beach at sunset


Lifeboat being recovered
Lifeboat on trailer outside the station


Lifeboat outside of station
Three crew preparing boat for launch


Preparing for launch

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.