The moment two lucky men were recovered after their glider collided in the ocean near Beachy Head has been captured on video.
In footage released today (October 15), emergency teams can be seen descending from the Coastguard helicopter to rescue the casualties who had become stranded on a rocky beach at the foot of the cliffs on Saturday (October 13).
As the waves lashed at the rocks, specially-trained HM Coastguard officers winched the men to safety and they were taken to the top of Beachy Head.
Earlier that afternoon, the Coastguard received a 999 call from a member of the public on top of the cliffs reporting a sighting of an aircraft going into the water but without an accurate location.
At the same time, a light aircraft pilot flying for Oscar Romeo Aviation Ltd in the Beachy Head area, reported an accurate position to the Coastguard.
The pilot had spotted a glider flying low and witnessed the crash landing in the sea, said the Coastguard.
Having returned and circled around the glider’s debris in the water, the pilot was able to relay accurate information to HM Coastguard which resulted in a speedy response from the Lydd helicopter, RNLI Eastbourne and Newhaven Lifeboats.
A spokesperson for the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) said, “The Coastguard rescue helicopter winched the two people from the base of the cliffs and they were recovered safely to the top of Beachy Head.
“Despite their ordeal - thankfully the two men did not require medical attention.”
Ashley Rawson, Aeronautical Operations Controller at HM Coastguard added, “The professionalism and quick thinking displayed by a passing pilot has contributed to a faster rescue response due to the accurate location information.
“Luckily both glider occupants were unscathed and did not spend long in the sea. I would encourage all general aviation pilots to adopt such airmanship and observe and report incidents via the correct means, (via the Distress & Diversion Cell).”
Footage by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency.