A PATROLLING Royal Navy vessel offered to help rescue a man in an inflatable dinghy off Eastbourne’s coast last week.
The crew of the vessel offered to divert to go and assist but it was Eastbourne’s two lifeboats which were called into action instead.
Concerned holidaymakers raised the alarm that a young man in a dinghy was drifting uncontrolled more than a mile offshore.
The inshore lifeboat was launched but the man had managed to make his way back to the beach unharmed. He was, however, given a ticking off and safety advice.
Minutes later the all-weather lifeboat was launched to help an all-girl crew on a 38ft yacht which suffered mechanical problems two miles offshore.
Deputy coxswain and mechanic Dan Guy was put aboard the casualty vessel to rig a drogue and towline. The yacht was towed to Sovereign Harbour.
On Saturday afternoon both the RNLI boats were launched to a boat which had a fouled anchor off Beachy Head and threatened to swamp the boat in strong tides.
An RNLI spokesperson said, “Three people aboard the newly- acquired boat had decided to anchor close inshore near Beachy Head to do some fishing.
“Unfortunately they chose a spot close to Beachy Head Ledge, a submerged reef which extends some two miles out to sea, and their anchor became trapped fast among the rocks.
“As the tide turned they found they could not retrieve the anchor and the strong tides were forcing the bow of their boat down into the water.”
The volunteer crew members of the inshore lifeboat were first on the scene but were unable to free the anchor. The all weather lifeboat members attached a shackle to the anchor chain and eventually managed to pull the anchor from off the seabed.
Above: The stricken yacht is towed to Sovereign Harbour.
Left: Lifeboat crew have successfuly freed a trapped boat.