Eastbourne RNLI’s all-weather lifeboat (ALB) was tasked to assist two completely different vessels on Saturday afternoon. Initially they helped a 26ft sailing boat stranded at Beachy Head and then to a 25 tonne ex lifeboat with engine problems
The first incident involved a 26ft sailing boat with two persons on board which had encountered difficulties whilst rounding Beachy Head. With failing winds the skipper was forced to use his engine to combat the effects of the tide but unfortunately it suffered a malfunction which left the vessel drifting helplessly. Faced with the option of anchoring or waiting for the tide to turn the skipper opted to call for help. The ALB took the yacht under tow and returned it to Sovereign Harbour.
As the ALB was entering harbour another distress call was received, this time to a 25 tonne all steel former Thames class lifeboat. The vessel, now in private ownership was one of only two build for the RNLI and was in service from the 1970’s up until 1997. The vessel was experiencing fuel supply problems and was only able to proceed at very low speed and, like the earlier yacht, was unable to make way against the tide around Beachy Head. The ALB rigged a tow and returned the vessel to the outer harbour where it made its own way into the locks.