Lifeboats called for real rescues during airshow’s busiest day

editorial image

LIFEBOAT crews took part in Airbourne’s demonstrations but were also called upon to carry out three real-life rescues

Eastbourne RNLI took part in a demonstration with the RAF search and rescue Sea King helicopter and provided safety cover for Airbourne.

However, both boats were also involved in three real-life rescues on Saturday (August 11), the airshow’s busiest day.

Even the lifeboat boarding boat got in on the action when it was called upon to assist a catamaran which had lost its outboard engine overboard in the outer harbour.

The day started with a demonstration off the seafront with the rescue helicopter recovering volunteer lifeboat crew acting as casualties from the water and winching them into the helicopter.

In the display the RNLI crews were then lowered back onto the deck of the moving all weather and inshore lifeboats.

Bob Jeffery from Eastbourne RNLI said, “Having completed their demonstration, both boats were soon in real life rescue situations.”

The first call came in from members of the public who were concerned that four people in an inflatable dinghy were in trouble in the surf near the Redoubt Fortress. The crews established the people were in no immediate danger both boats left the scene. However, a short while later a distressed relative of one of the group raised the alarm again because she had lost sight of her loved ones. The Inshore Lifeboat returned to find the group ashore happily munching their way through ice creams. They were offered safety advice by the volunteer Inshore Lifeboat crew.

After the airshow had finished for the day, the crew of a 38ft motor cruiser were unable to start their engine.

The vessel was taken under tow to Sovereign Harbour by the all weather lifeboat.

Later in the evening the all weather lifeboat was tasked again, this time to assist a sail training yacht with six people on board which had suffered engine failure three miles south of Sovereign Harbour.