NEWHAVEN LIFEBOAT RESPONDS TO FOUR INCIDENTS IN FOUR HOURS
August 17 2012.
Volunteers from Newhaven's RNLI lifeboat station were launched on Wednesday 15th August at 19:55 to a woman cut off by the tide around the Seven Sisters area.
Newhaven's Severn Class lifeboat 'RNLB David and Elizabeth Acland' arrived on scene and launched its daughter Y boat in choppy conditions. The lifeboat and Y boat conducted numerous searches from Cuckmere Haven through to Beachy Head assisted by coastguard teams and the Police helicopter.
A person was spotted cut off by the tide just to the east of Cuckmere Haven. On the advice from the Y boat crew the individual was guided back through the shallow water to the west, just before being completely cut off by the incoming tide. It was confirmed this male was not the casualty being searched for.
Searches continued for the female caller until the Coastguard was happy that no one was trapped by the tide.
As the lifeboat recovered the daughter Y boat at 21:25, Eastbourne & Birling Gap Coastguards requested the assistance of Newhaven lifeboat, as a person was believed to have gone over the cliff to the east of Beachy Head. Once on scene the lifeboat used it searchlights to scan the surrounding area and was then joined by the Police helicopter.
After a number of sweeps the helicopter spotted a casualty behind rocks at the base of the cliff that was still conscious and moving. The Y boat was deployed in the choppy conditions and was guided into a small area of beach.
After a search of the immediate area a male was found who appeared completely unharmed as he had been sleeping on the beach and had not fallen over the cliffs as first thought. The description was radioed to local coastguard teams who confirmed that this was a different person to that reported over the cliffs.
The male was checked over and was found to be well although withdrawn, only giving his name. Despite many requests the casualty refused to be taken back to the main Lifeboat.
The lifeboat stood by until high water had past to ensure the casualty was safe. Coastguards liaised with Sussex police regarding the position of the casualty and immediate family were contacted.
After a comprehensive search by coastguard teams, the lifeboat and the Police helicopter, nothing was found regarding the original person through to have fallen from the cliffs.
The Y boat was recovered at 23:15 and the lifeboat returned to station at 00:15.