Eastbourne’s lifeboats were requested to launch three times on Saturday after a large commercial fishing vessel and then a small fishing boat got into difficulties.
On Saturday morning (February 21), Eastbourne’s largest commercial fishing vessel requested assistance when it lost power during machinery trials just outside of Sovereign Harbour.
In no immediate danger and under tow from another member of the fishing fleet, Eastbourne’s in-shore lifeboat (ILB) was requested to launch to assist with the transfer of personnel between the vessels and to provide a brake for the difficult manoeuvre of entering the marina locks.
Once through the locks, the ILB assisted the vessel to dock and then returned to station.
The ILB was in action again later in the afternoon as it launched in response to an urgent call for help from a group in a small fishing boat.
Information regarding the location of the group and their situation was confused and despite the volunteer ILB crew assembling and launching within a few minutes, a first sweep of the coastline proved negative.
As a result, Eastbourne’s all-weather lifeboat (ALB) was launched. Shortly after it arrived on the scene, the group were spotted on the beach with an ambulance crew, apparently cold and frightened but otherwise unharmed. Both lifeboats were then stood down.