New Eastbourne lifeboat answers maiden distress call

EASTBOURNE RNLI’s new Tamar class lifeboat Diamond Jubilee had her first rescue in home waters when the crew was diverted from training to pluck a swimmer from storm tossed seas

While the volunteer lifeboat crew was continuing their intensive training before the new Eastbourne boat became fully operational, Dover coastguard received several 999 calls on Friday evening alerting them to a swimmer clinging desperately to the channel marker buoys at the entrance to Sovereign Harbour.

With no time to spare, Diamond Jubilee was given an emergency exit from the locks and was on scene within a few minutes. The swimmer was taken aboard using the boats specialist casualty recovery equipment and, after medical assessment, passed ashore by the inshore lifeboat which, by then, was also on scene to be met by local coastguard officers.

Over the weekend, the inshore lifeboat was launched to assist coastguards with the recovery of a body from the shore at Beachy Head.

Before breakfast on Tuesday morning the ILB was again tasked to assist with the recovery of an injured man from the shore near a spot known locally as the Sugarloaf. The casualty was airlifted to the DGH for treatment.