Eastbourne lifeboat was the busiest in south east


Eastbourne lifeboat crews saved 116 people last year – making them the busiest crews in the south east once again.

Eastbourne lifeboat launched 139 times and rescued 116 people in 2013, according to the latest statistics released by the RNLI. The next busiest was Gravesend, which launched 99 times and rescued 58 people.

One of the most memorable rescues of last year saw Eastbourne’s all weather lifeboat launched to a 27ft motor-sailor that had issued a distress call two miles off Beachy Head.

One of the boat’s crew had suffered a head injury and another was suffering from severe sickness in rough seas. The lifeboat volunteers gave first aid and brought the stricken crew and their vessel back to shore.

Peter Dawes, regional operations manager for the RNLI, said, “Whether it is hot and sunny or windy and rainy, the water always presents a number of risks for visitors to the coast. We would always recommend that people take care when going to the coast and follow some simple safety tips: always check tide times before taking to the water; avoid areas where you could get swept off your feet in stormy weather, and if you’re visiting the coast, be sure to visit a lifeguarded beach during the summer months.”

Peter also praised the legions of volunteers who give up their own time to go to sea to save the lives of others, and the thousands of members of the public who donate the funds necessary to enable the RNLI charity to continue its work.

“Of course, none of this would be possible without the huge commitment of the volunteers who crew our lifeboats, and of the extended family of supporters who facilitate that. From spouses and children, right through to considerate employers who allow their staff to leave at a moment’s notice to launch lifeboats, they all deserve a huge thank you from the RNLI. As long as people are in distress, the RNLI will be there to help. We provide a ring of safety from the beach right out to the open seas. But the first class training and the equipment needed to do the job cost money, and we are very fortunate to have such a dedicated support network among the general public. As a charity, the RNLI simply could not continue saving lives without that support.”