Lifeboat crew rescues yacht owner and dog

Katie the dog was grateful to be rescued
Katie the dog was grateful to be rescued

A YACHTSMAN and his dog were rescued after coming into difficulty at Seaford Bay.

The East Dean resident had left Newhaven and was bound for Eastbourne’s Sovereign Harbour but within minutes found themselves drifting ashore.

The man was on his 30ft yacht named Skellig with his dog Katie and as he headed east through Seaford Bay when he ran into trouble.

With fuel levels running low and with sail problems, he began to rapidly drift close inshore to the Martello Tower.

After several calls were made to Solent coastguards the Newhaven RNLI lifeboat was launched.

The yacht was found to be in just three metres of water and was being pushed further inshore.

With two metres of water below the lifeboat, the initial request of a towline to be attached was refused, but the crew agreed to be escorted back towards Newhaven.

After it was realised that the yacht would not reach a safe depth water and clear Newhaven’s East Pier crew member Nick Gentry was placed on the yacht to assist with securing the towline and helping on the return journey to the lifeboat berth in Newhaven Harbour.

An ambulance crew was waiting at the Newhaven RNLI boathouse for the skipper who had appeared disorientated.

He was found to be suffering from hypothermia and was made comfortable.

He remained at the lifeboat station until it was safe for him to return home.

Coxswain Ian Johns said, “Initially he didn’t want to be helped, we offered to get someone on there and a line.

“We did insist on escorting him and it’s lucky we did because if we hadn’t been there it would have gone ashore.

“It was quite foggy and visibility was not good.

“It was lucky that those people on the beach notified the coastguard of their concerns or we could have been delayed quite a bit and been to late to save his yacht.”