Busy day for Eastbourne lifeboat crew in benign waters

Both Eastbourne lifeboats were called into action yesterday despite the benign conditions in the English Channel.

Crew first aid training was interrupted when the all-weather lifeboat was launched to assist a single-handed yachtsman who had became becalmed on passage to Brighton and was unable to start his engine.

The volunteer crew found the eight-metre yacht drifting helplessly in the flooding tide off the Belle Tout lighthouse. Crewman Alan Simister was transferred to the casualty vessel to attach a towline, once secure the vessel was returned to Sovereign Harbour.

Whilst they were dealing with the first incident, Dover Coastguard became concerned when a paddle-board was found in Pevensey Bay apparently washed up by the tide.

Local Coastguard officers were unable to trace the owner of the board which prompted the fear that someone may still be in the water.

As a precaution the inshore lifeboat was requested to search the area. Eventually the owner of the board was located and the lifeboat stood down.