Engineers rescued from Sovereign Light Tower

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TWO Trinity House engineers who became stranded six miles offshore on the Sovereign Light Tower had to be rescued by the lifeboat.

The pair became stranded when the engineers’ support vessel suffered mechanical failure yesterday afternoon.

The two engineers from Trinity House, which manages and maintains lighthouses and navigation aids around the British Isles, were deposited on the 36-metre high structure.

However, the support boat, which was also carrying provisions to the tower for a routine service, suffered a mechanical failure and had to back off before deploying its anchor to avoid being swept away in the tide.

Responding to the call for assistance, and under the skilful hands of coxswain Mark Sawyer, Eastbourne’s RNLI Diamond Jubilee was edged alongside the structure and the engineers were taken aboard the lifeboat.

The next priority was to return the support vessel to harbour as soon as possible since she was taking on water. There was concern that her bilge pumps may not be able to stem the flow. In the event the support vessel was safely returned to harbour where she was lifted from the water and later inspected for damage.