Varied weekend for the town’s lifeboat crews

It was a varied weekend for Eastbourne’s RNLI Lifeboat crews including their first inflatable rescue of the year.

The volunteers had to balance daily displays at the annual 999 weekend and respond to emergency calls for help.

Luckily, the incidents the RNLI was called out to did not clash with its annual 999 displays out at sea to spectators on the Western lawns.

The first incident took place on Saturday evening (July 6).

Volunteer crews were called out in the RNLI’s inshore lifeboat to assist people who were enjoying the sunshine in a dinghy.

People on the beach had become concerned after seeing the pair, in their twenties, out by Eastbourne Pier.

The concerned onlookers on the beach contacted Dover coastguard when they assumed the two occupants were getting into difficulties.

The lifeboat crews were quickly on scene and found the couple to be in control and content to paddle their own way ashore.

The lifeboat stood by until the couple were safely ashore and then returned to station.

Inflatables out at sea often cause concern during the summer months and the RNLI crews in seaside resports such as Eastbourne can see multiple call outs during the hot weather.

This weekend, the pair were not in danger but some who take to dinghies to enjoy the sun can be carried furthur out to sea than they had planned.

Early on Sunday morning (July 7), the lifeboat was launched again to a tragic incident at Beachy Head.

The crews had to assist coastguard officers with the recovery of a body from the beach at Beachy Head.

Later, the crew returned to the seafront to entertain the record crowds enjoying the sunshine at the 999 display.

See photographs of the 999 event on the Western Lawns on page 7.

A video of the event, including the diplays by the emergency services and an interview with one of the organisers, can also be found on