Eastbourne lifeboat crew search for missing person found later in bed

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EASTBOURNE Lifeboat crew spent a fruitless three-hour search looking for a person they feared was in the water - only to discover that they were at home asleep in bed.

TheE warm weather has prompted a series of call-outs for the Eastbourne lifeboat, particularly the inshore boat (ILB) which deals with the more urgent responses close inshore.

Following the recent launch to a Kayaker in trouble in Norman’s Bay, the volunteer ILB crew have responded to two more incidents over the last 24 hours.

The crew were retasked within an hour of reporting to Dover Coastguard that they were ready for service to another incident. This time, a rucksack was found on the beach which prompted concern that a possible missing person was in the water. A three hour search by the RNLI crew aboard the ILB ensued.

Just before the search was expanded to include a rescue helicopter and Eastbourne’s all-weather lifeboat, the Police located the ‘missing’ person at home safely asleep in bed.

Less than 24 hours later, another report was received that a paddle boarder was in trouble off the popular Holywell area of Eastbourne’s promenade.

As with the kayaker incident, the person was unable to remount his board and was in serious danger.

The lifeboat crew recovered the paddle-boarder and returned him to the beach at Holywell where he was passed into the care of a waiting ambulance crew who treated him for the effects of possible hypothermia.

Volunteer helmsman Paul Rogers commented that it was fortunate that both casualties he recovered from the sea were wearing suitable protective equipment which certainly increased their chances of survival.