BUSY TIME FOR NEWHAVEN LIFEBOAT
July 22 2013.
Volunteers from Newhaven's RNLI Lifeboat Station were launched on Thursday the 18th of July to two teenage girls and on Friday the 19th of July to an adult male, both of which were being quickly blown offshore from Seaford beach. In both cases family members on the beach had raised the alarm.
Later on Friday a 999 call was received by coastguards that a male in an inflatable kayak had been blown offshore at Telscombe.
Newhaven's Severn Class lifeboat David and Elizabeth Acland proceeded at speed to all the inflatable casualties, especially to the two teenage girls where there had been reports that their craft was taking in water. Thankfully all the casualties were well and the single male off Seaford beach had managed to grab the attention of a passing wind surfer who kindly stood by until the lifeboat arrived on scene.
The other male in the inflatable kayak off Telscombe had managed to secure himself to a buoy to stop being blown out further to sea.
In all instances, all were all well and were brought on board the lifeboat and their inflatable crafts recovered. The first two casualties and their boats were then repatriated with their families on Seaford beach, where coastguards were waiting to offer safety advice.
The male with the inflatable kayaker was taken ashore by a Jet skier who offered assistance. Once ashore the Jet Ski encountered mechanical failure and the lifeboat returned to tow the Jet ski back to Newhaven harbour.
Deputy Second Coxswain, Robert Parker, explained: 'All were very lucky, as in the strong northerly breeze they were getting blow out to sea at a fast rate. We would always recommend that the absolute minimum safety equipment is life jackets, as this situation could have so easily have turned into a tragedy.
'Please always take care with inflatable craft when there is a strong northerly breeze and if possible have them tethered to a line from the beach.'
On Saturday the 20th of July, there were reports of a possible family off the cliffs at Beachy Head after a bag and one way train tickets were found at the top of the notorious beauty spot.
Volunteers from Newhaven's RNLI Lifeboat Station were again launched at 8.55am and once Newhaven's Severn Class lifeboat David and Elizabeth Acland arrived at Birling Gap the Y boat inflatable was launched.
The Y boat conducted a search at the base of the cliffs and 100 metres from the shore round to the east of Beachy Head lighthouse. At the same time Coastguard teams conducted a comprehensive cliff top search.
A casualty was spotted part way down the cliffs by the coastguards during their cliff top search. The cliff rescue team recovered the deceased casualty whilst the Newhaven lifeboat and the Y boat stood by.
By this time it was confirmed that only one person was involved. Once the casualty was recovered the lifeboat crew were stood down and returned to station to refuel and were ready for service at midday.