Woman rescued at Birling Gap set to be fined after travelling to area during lockdown

A woman who sparked a major rescue at Birling Gap last month – which led to a lifeboat capsizing – is to be fined after it was revealed she had travelled from outside the area during lockdown.

Thursday, 4th March 2021, 10:24 am

Sussex Police says the woman’s details have been passed to the Metropolitan Police where officers will speak to her and issue her with a Fixed Penalty Notice for contravening lockdown restrictions.

People are not allowed to travel outside their local area due to the ongoing national coronavirus lockdown.

It is believed the woman and her partner had travelled from their home in the Met Police area to Birling Gap for exercise on Wednesday February 3.

The couple had been walking on the beach at Birling Gap when they became trapped by the incoming tide.

The woman’s partner managed to make his way to safety and raise the alarm.

Eastbourne’s inshore lifeboat was sent to the scene but due to the rising water and strong current, the boat capsized and three crew members were thrown into the water.

As surfers tried to bring the woman back to shore, two Coastguard helicopters were scrambled along with the Eastbourne all-weather lifeboat.

The inshore lifeboat was badly damaged during the incident and one of the surfers lost their board.

The woman was taken to hospital as a precautionary measure before being allowed to leave and return home.