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September 22 2014.

Newhaven lifeboat responds to a Mayday call

Newhaven’s Severn Class lifeboat RNLB David and Elizabeth Acland and her volunteer crew self launched to a small vessel with a broken rudder in need of immediate assistance

On Sunday 14 September 2014 at 12:58pm the lifeboat, which had just returned from its weekly Sunday morning exercise, heard the Mayday call being broadcast from the casualty. The vessel, with one person on board had no steering and with an easterly 22 knot wind was in danger of being blown on to rocks. 

The lifeboat arrived on scene within minutes. Quickly evaluating the incident, the lifeboat's inflatable daughter Y boat was readied due to the shallow waters. Fortunately a tow was passed without the need for the Y boat to be launched. Securing the tow the casualty was towed into deeper water. 

Once a volunteer crew member had been transferred to the casualty it was towed into the safety of the harbour where it was met by colleagues from Newhaven’s HM Coastguard team.

The lifeboat was fuelled and ready for service at 2.00pm

Coxswain Paul Legendre said: “Any Mayday call is treated very seriously as it means there is a risk to life. We will always respond immediately, as would any other vessel in the area. It is fortunate on this occasion that this incident didn’t escalate any further”.

Newhaven lifeboat tasked to a vessel with engine failure
Newhaven’s Severn Class lifeboat ‘RNLB David and Elizabeth Acland’ and her volunteer crew were launched to 16ft vessel which had suffered a fuel loss resulting in engine failure 350 metres from Birling Gap

On Wednesday 16 September 2014 at 6.25pm the lifeboat was tasked to a 16ft cabin cruiser with 2 persons on board which had suffered a fuel loss. The lifeboat made at best speed to the stricken vessel. Fortunately the seas were calm with little wind.

Arriving on scene a tow was passed to the casualty vessel, which was steadily towed into Newhaven Harbour to allow for repairs. 

The lifeboat was washed down, fuelled and ready for service at 8.30pm