The volunteer crew of Eastbourne RNLI’s inshore lifeboat, helicopter and coastguards were scrambled at 9.10am today (Tuesday) after desperate calls for help from the partner of a swimmer in difficulties.
Rescuers said that despite advice to the contrary, the male had decided to attempt swimming to an anchored vessel almost a mile offshore.
An RNLI spokesperson said, “Caught out by the tide and the chilling effect of the water he soon got into difficulties and was lost to view from the beach.
“In desperation his partner telephoned Eastbourne Lifeboat Station where fortunately coxswain Mark Sawyer was on duty who took the call and immediately notified Dover Coastguard.
“The inshore lifeboat launched and began searching the area. With nothing found in the initial sweep, the Coastguard Rescue Helicopter 163 was requested to assist.
“Shortly thereafter the casualty was seen by the lifeboat crew staggering out of the water a mile down-tide from his start position.
“The lifeboat crew administered initial casualty care to the swimmer who by this time was confused and very cold. He was then assisted from the beach and passed into the care of a waiting ambulance crew.”
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