NEWHAVEN LIFEBOAT LAUNCHED TO JET SKI BROKEN DOWN IN FOG
August 11 2012.
Volunteers from Newhaven's RNLI lifeboat station were launched at 1655hrs on Thursday 9th July 2012 to reports of Jet ski with 2 persons on board that had failed to return to Seaford Beach in very dense fog
Newhaven's Severn Class lifeboat 'RNLB David and Elizabeth Acland' left Newhaven Harbour into fog with visibility less than 50 metres in places. Whilst on route to the scene it was reported that the Jet ski and the 2 riders where safely ashore at Birling Gap. The jet ski had broken down about ½ a mile off shore and the 2 riders were forced to swim to shore towing the jet ski behind them as they had no form of communication device.
The riders were reported exhausted from their ordeal and one who was showing the early signs of hypothermia. The Newhaven's Severn Class lifeboat launched its daughter boat 'Y199' with 2 crew members on board to shore, where the 2 riders were brought to the Severn class Lifeboat. Whilst the volunteer crew wrapped the riders in blankets a tow was established to the jet ski and towed to Seaford Beach. On arrival the riders and the jet ski were taken to shore.
Newhaven's RNLI Lifeboat Coxswain Paul Legendre said "The conditions on scene were very poor, even though the sea was calm visibility was very bad due to heavy sea fog. If the riders had swum in the wrong direction, disorientated by the poor visibility then the outcome may have been much worse. Incidents like these highlight the need to have a fully operational VHF radio when at sea"
The lifeboat then returned to station and was ready for service at 1905hrs.