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Distressed yachtsmen rescued by Eastbourne RNLI lifeboat

Lifeboats News Release

Eastbourne’s all-weather lifeboat launched late last night in response to a distress call from the crew of a passing yacht which was drifting dangerously close to the busy shipping lanes in the Dover Straits.

The Dutch registered barge

RNLI/Eastbourne

The Dutch registered barge

Whilst 10 miles offshore the four person crew aboard their Dutch-registered 45ft yacht became anxious when the wind dropped and the engine of their vessel became seriously overheated and had to be shut down.

Drifting perilously close to the busy shipping lanes they were conscious of the danger they were in from large ships passing at speed in the darkness. In desperation they contacted UK Coastguard for assistance who immediately requested the assembly of Eastbourne’s volunteer lifeboat crew.

At 10.15pm Eastbourne’s all-weather lifeboat Diamond Jubilee left harbour making full speed to the yacht’s position. When on scene Deputy Coxswain Ian Stringer transferred to the yacht to assess the situation and prepare the vessel for a tow to safety.

The decision was taken to tow the stricken vessel back to Eastbourne for engine repairs. Arriving back at Sovereign Harbour in the early hours of Tuesday morning (9 November) during a sudden squall producing driving rain and strong winds, the yacht was delivered to the safety of the marina locks.

The volunteer crew then refuelled the lifeboat and made it ready for service, eventually returning to their homes at 1am to get some well deserved rest before returning to their ‘day jobs’.

Notes to editors

Eastbourne has celebrated over 185 years as a lifeboat station and currently operates an all-weather Tamar Class lifeboat ‘Diamond Jubilee’ and an inshore D-Class lifeboat ‘Laurence and Percy Hobbs’.

RNLI media contacts For more information please contact

  • Bob Jeffery, Eastbourne RNLI Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer, on 07802 878017 LPObob@btinternet.com
  • Tim Ash, RNLI Public Relations Manager (London/East/South East) on 0207 6207426, 07785 296252 tim_ash@rnli.org.uk for enquiries outside normal business hours, contact the RNLI duty press officer on 01202 336789

Key facts about the RNLI

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution is the charity that saves lives at sea. Our volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service in the United Kingdom and Ireland from 238 lifeboat stations, including four along the River Thames and inland lifeboat stations at Loch Ness, Lough Derg, Enniskillen and Lough Ree. Additionally the RNLI has more than 1,000 lifeguards on over 240 beaches around the UK and operates a specialist flood rescue team, which can respond anywhere across the UK and Ireland when inland flooding puts lives at risk.

The RNLI relies on public donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. As a charity it is separate from, but works alongside, government-controlled and funded coastguard services. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824 our lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved at least 140,000 lives. Volunteers make up 95% of the charity, including 4,600 volunteer lifeboat crew members and 3,000 volunteer shore crew. Additionally, tens of thousands of other dedicated volunteers raise funds and awareness, give safety advice, and help in our museums, shops and offices.

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For more information please visit the RNLI website or Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. News releases, videos and photos are available on the News Centre.

Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries

Members of the public may contact the RNLI on 0300 300 9990 or by email.

 

The RNLI is a charity registered in England and Wales (209603) and Scotland (SC037736). Charity number 20003326 in the Republic of Ireland

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