EASTBOURNE RNLI’s new lifeboat, Diamond Jubilee, faced an early morning call-out today to help a stricken fishing vessel which had lost power and was drifting perilously close to busy shipping lanes.
Diamond Jubilee was launched shortly after 5am this morning when the 60-tonne commercial fishing vessel, CKS, reported to Dover Coastguard that they had engine failure and were drifting helplessly close to the south-west shipping lanes in the English Channel.
The vessel, with five people on board, had departed from Brixham yesterday and was steaming nine miles off Eastbourne when it lost engine power and was left drifting in the tide.
Unable to repair their engine at sea, the fishermen were forced to call for assistance. Eastbourne’s new lifeboat was launched to its first deep water rescue and, using its full 26 knot capability, was soon on scene.
A tow was rigged and the heavy fishing vessel taken toward Sovereign Harbour. When within a mile of the harbour Eastbourne’s inshore lifeboat was launched to assist with the difficult manoeuvre of guiding the stricken vessel through the harbour entrance, into the locks and onto a safe berth within the marina.
When both lifeboats had been refuelled and made ready for service, the volunteer crews were able to take breakfast before preparing for another busy day at the 999 display on Eastbourne seafront.