Lifeboat launches in gales

A major search involving three RNLI lifeboats was launched for a yacht in last night’s gale force winds (June 21).

The 45ft vessel was reported as being overdue in near gale conditions whilst on passage from Boulogne in Northern France to Eastbourne.

Dover Coastguard was alerted by concerned family members when the yacht failed to arrive as previously planned in Eastbourne.

Unable to make radio contact, coastguards initially requested the launch of Hastings RNLI’s all weather lifeboat to search the yacht’s route. With nothing found, Eastbourne’s all weather lifeboat joined the search at around 11pm.

Both boats were stood down later when radio communications were overheard from the missing yacht off Selsey by Solent Coastguard.

Selsey RNLI lifeboat was launched and made contact with the missing yacht in the early hours of this morning

Eastbourne coxswain Mark Sawyer said, “It is important that sailors report their passage plans in advance but it is equally important that if those plans are changed that they too should be passed on to avoid situations like this, with our volunteer crews spending many hours in extremely difficult conditions.”