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November 20 2015.

Newhaven’s relief Severn Class lifeboat ‘RNLB Daniel L Gibson’ and her volunteer crew were launched at 11:45am on Monday the 16th of November after HM Coastguards received a mayday from a sinking vessel.

Newhaven lifeboat proceeded at full speed to the position given by H M Coastguards, which was south of Saltdean. The lifeboats salvage pump was made ready on route.

Newhaven lifeboat searched from Saltdean to Newhaven and back at six different distances from the shoreline. The lifeboat was assisted by HM Coastguard rescue helicopters R104 & R163 and local Coastguard teams on the cliff tops.

After a comprehensive search the two rescue helicopters and the lifeboat were stood down at 13:50 and returned to station.

Coxswain Paul Legendre explained: “Although we will always assume that any Mayday call is a real emergency and conduct a full search, we are becoming very concerned, as this is third hoax with exactly the same information.

“Our biggest fear is that one day helicopters and lifeboats could be responding to one of these hoaxes and someone genuinely in trouble may lose their life.”