Eastbourne lifeboat crew kept busy with nine separate call-outs over Airbourne weekend

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Eastbourne’s lifeboat crew were kept busy over the Airbourne weekend with nine separate call-outs.

Before the airshow had finished on Thursday, the all-weather lifeboat responded to a distress call from a 26ft yacht which had suffered engine failure while approaching Sovereign Harbour. The yacht was taken under tow to the safety of the marina locks.

On Friday they assisted a windsurfer in trouble in Normans Bay. They took the windsurfer to shore and recovered his damaged craft.

And the inshore lifeboat was called twice to the same jet skier over the weekend who not only caused danger to swimmers and contravened the Airbourne no-go traffic area, but who also managed to fall off his craft twice and was unable to remount. He was given safety advice by police and coastguard officers.

Sunday was by far the busiest day for the Eastbourne crew.

They assisted a 10-metre cruiser a mile south of Sovereign Harbour which had suffered engine failure. The disabled vessel with four people on board was taken back to Harbour.

Both boats were retasked an hour later when a fire was reported on Eastbourne Pier. As part of an established emergency procedure, the lifeboats stood by to help evacuation if required. The small fire was quickly extinguished and both boats returned to their duties.

The inshore lifeboat was again in action when four youngsters got into difficulties swimming too far out near the pier. Two managed to make their own way ashore but two had to be rescued by the volunteer crew. Once safely ashore the youngsters got a stern ticking off from their grandmother and the lifeboat crew.

On their way back from Airbourne, the crew was again tasked to help a dinghy apparently in trouble off Bexhill, but when they got to the scene, they found the yachtsman was in no trouble and making his own way ashore.