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March 30 2012.

Volunteers from Newhaven's RNLI lifeboat station were tasked at 17:35 on Wednesday 28th March to a seven metre leisure vessel with one adult on board which had suffered engine failure approximately three miles south west of Newhaven.

Whilst exiting the harbour to help the casualty vessel, a youth threw a fist sized chunk of chalk at the lifeboat, hitting the wheelhouse and scattering chalk over a large area. Police were immediately informed and the culprit was apprehended.

The casualty was unclear of his position and was spotted by the dredger "Thames", which stood by until the lifeboat arrived on the scene. The Newhaven Severn class Lifeboat David and Elizabeth Acland established a tow and the casualty vessel was safely bought into Newhaven harbour and berthed in the marina.

Newhaven Lifeboat volunteer press officer Alan Novis said: "The youth who had thrown the chalk at the RNLI lifeboat on its way to rescue a stranded vessel should be ashamed. This reckless action could have potentially seriously injured one of our volunteer crew who are serving our community."