Unmanned canoe sparks warning from coastguard

Coastguards were called to investigate an unmanned canoe
Coastguards were called to investigate an unmanned canoe

A canoe was found floating in the sea near Eastbourne Wish Tower on Tuesday night (June 20).

Eastbourne coastguards received a 999 call at 8.38pm about the unmanned canoe, and performed an extensive search of the area from Beachy Head ledge to Sovereign Harbour.

The search continued until 10.30pm with no one found and Sussex Police said there had been no reports of missing people around the time.

The canoe, described as very old and broken, is presumed to have been released accidentally, according to the coastguard.

A coastguard spokesperson said the caller did the right thing, as the weather was quite rough with strong waves.

A spokesperson from the Maritime and Coastguard agency said, “Always ensure someone knows your plan including points of arrival and departure.

“Check weather forecasts and tidal conditions and ensure that your skill levels are appropriate for where you are kayaking or canoeing.

“Wear a buoyancy aid, check your distress flares are in date and all equipment is functioning properly.

We always recommend carrying a Personal Locator Beacon and a VHR Radio in more remote locations.

It is worth carrying a fully-charged mobile phone in a waterproof bag.

“If you get into difficulty, call the coastguard using channel 16 on your VHR radio or dial 999.”