NEW NEWHAVEN PILOT BOAT IN FIRE DRAMA RESCUE
December 18 2012.
The new Newhaven Pilot boat Pelorus was conducting man overboard practices in the Cuckmere area as part of its normal training today when a red flare was seen, followed by smoke being reported as a "maday relay" by another vessel "Yellow Fin".
Pelorus proceeded at speed to the vessel "Know Wonder" which had large plumes of smoke and flames visible. Once on scene the crew of Pilot Boat Pelorus got the one person on board the casualty vessel to drop anchor, as at that time he was on the stern of the vessel engulfed in smoke. As soon as the anchor was deployed, the vessel swung round and created a safe area on the bow and the pilot boat took off the person from the stricken vessel.
The pilot vessel stood off and checked if the casualty needed any medical treatment, but appeared unharmed by his experience. Eastbourne lifeboats then arrived on scene and transferred the casualty to their inshore lifeboat and onto the All Weather Lifeboat.
One of the Pilot boat crew, Lee Blacknel, who is also second coxswain on the Newhaven lifeboat said: "It was fortunate we were in the area and could respond quickly with our new, much faster pilot boat. The fire had really taken hold and the single person on board was in great danger. The fast thinking and action of our crew probably saved this man's life. We are delighted to have been able to help and many thanks to the Eastbourne Lifeboat crew who were tasked."