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Distress flares alert Eastbourne Lifeboat

Lifeboats News Release

Eastbourne’s inshore lifeboat (ILB) launched on Sunday afternoon following multiple reports from members of the public of red distress flares being fired a mile off Eastbourne pier.

Casualty vessel enters marina

RNLI/Bob Jeffery

Casualty vessel enters marina alongside workboat
The volunteer ILB crew were paged at 16.37 by HM Coastguard after they had received numerous 999 calls from members of the public who had been enjoying the sunshine on Eastbourne beach. Reports indicated that a cloud of black smoke was seen coming from a small speedboat followed by red flares approximately a mile off the pier. The ILB was quickly launched and sped towards the reported location. When on scene they found the speedboat had suffered engine failure and was drifting helplessly in the tide. The lone occupant with no other means of summoning assistance had fired off his distress flares. The disabled vessel was taken under tow to Sovereign Harbour where it was passed to the marina workboat.

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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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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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