The coastguard helicopter was launched yesterday (Thursday) to rescue an injured crewman from a luxury 72 metre cruiser on its way to Gibraltar.
The cruiser, Coral Island, contacted Dover coastguard when the first officer fell and suffered facial injuries.
The plan was for Eastbourne all-weather lifeboat to take the injured man off the cruiser and transport him to a waiting ambulance at Sovereign Harbour.
En-route to the casualty, the lifeboat crew realised that to complete a transfer in the prevailing weather conditions was going to be extremely hazardous in the strong winds and three metre swell.
Lifeboat Coxswain Mark Sawyer asked for the coastguard rescue helicopter 104 to be scrambled to help. Whilst the ALB stood by the injured man was airlifted from the cruiser and taken to Eastbourne DGH for treatment.
The cruiser later anchored in Eastbourne Bay to wait for news of their colleague and the lifeboat returned to its station.