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August 15 2014.

Newhaven’s Severn Class lifeboat ‘RNLB David and Elizabeth Acland’ was on a training exercise on Wednesday evening at approximately 7:15pm when it was tasked to a person over the cliffs near Birling Gap. The lifeboat broke away from its planned training exercise as reports initially indicated that a person had gone over cliffs to the east of Birling Gap and the casualty was believed to have serious injuries, but was still alive.

As Newhaven lifeboat headed to the location at speed, three lifeboat crew were readied in dry suits and the inflatable Y boat was prepared ready for launch. First aid equipment was double checked and readied.

On route further reports were received that a second person had also gone over the cliffs near where the first person had fallen, the condition of the second casualty was unknown.

As soon as the lifeboat arrived at the scene the Y boat was immediately launched with three crew complete with full First Aid equipment. The Y boat made its way close to shore through the choppy conditions.

At this time the Police Helicopter and then Coastguard Rescue Helicopter 104 arrived along with land ambulances. The Y boat was then asked to hold a position off shore.

Shortly afterwards at approximately 8:00 it was confirmed that land based paramedics were with the casualty and the Y boat returned to the main lifeboat, which was then stood down and returned to station. Although it was reported that there were two casualties, there was only the one who was sadly deceased.

Newhaven lifeboat was then washed down, refuelled and was ready for service at 21:20.