Eastbourne’s all-weather lifeboat (ALB) was launched in the early hours of this morning (Friday) in response to a distress call from a vessel with three people on board two miles off Beachy Head.
Shortly before 6am, the Dover Coastguard picked up a call from the 27-foot motor-sailor, which was travelling from Port Solent to Eastbourne.
The initial report indicated that two or three men aboard the vessel had become incapacitated, one with a head wound and another with severe sea sickness in challenging conditions, with South West winds blowing at 35mph against an ebbing tide.
Soon after the alert was broadcast, the Eastbourne RNLI volunteer lifeboat crew were assembled, including paramedic Guy Emery and lifeboat medical advisor Dr. Stephen Lytton.
During the transfer, the casualty suffering sea sickness took his opportunity to clamber aboard the ALB. The head wound was deemed to be of a minor nature but there was more concern about the previously unreported medical condition of the elderly skipper of the vessel.
It was decided to transfer both remaining sailors to the ALB to facilitate additional first aid, which was becoming increasingly difficult in the treacherous sea conditions.
All three casualties were treated aboard the ALB by Dr Lytton and the crew while they steamed back to Sovereign Harbour to liaise with two waiting ambulances.