A 37ft motor cruiser suffered engine failure passing close to the Holywell area off Eastbourne promenade and drifted onto submerged rocks at low tide this afternoon
The cruiser with two persons on board was travelling from Newhaven, where it had undergone extensive repairs, to its home port of Sandwich when the drama began.
Shortly after rounding Beachy Head the vessel lost engine power and was swept inshore on the tide until it began bouncing across submerged rocks a short distance from the beach which caused extensive damage to its steering.
The crew contacted Dover Coastguard for assistance who in turn requested the launch of Eastbourne’s all-weather lifeboat.
Even before the lifeboat was on scene it was obvious to the volunteer crew that the water was too shallow to manoeuvre, so the inshore lifeboat was also scrambled.
Between the two lifeboats a tow was rigged and the casualty vessel dragged into deeper water and then taken to the safety of Sovereign Harbour.