September 11th, 2017.

Newhaven’s Severn Class lifeboat RNLB David and Elizabeth Acland and her volunteer crew was launched on Saturday at 3:50pm to reports of an unmanned rigid inflatable boat (RIB) off Splash Point at Seaford. Coastguards had received multiple 999 calls from members of the public, as the south westerly winds increased.

The lifeboat headed to the position at full speed and found the RIB immediately. It was secured to a yellow marker buoy. A search took place around the vessel to see if any divers were in the water and nothing was found.

The lifeboat then came alongside the vessel and established there was no fuel tank or oars on board. A grappling hook was used to grab the line and then the RIB was put under tow. The lifeboat reported the findings to Coastguards.

At this time the vessel's owner had contacted Coastguards to say they had left the RIB in that position and were safely ashore.

Newhaven lifeboat towed the vessel to the lifeboat station and was safely back alongside at 4:40pm.

Newhaven lifeboat Coxswain Paul Legendre said: "Thank you to the members of the public who called 999 and alerted Coastguards. Thankfully there no one was in distress this time. If anyone leaves a vessel unattended for a period of time it is worth letting Coastguards know via VHF, as this could have escalated into a major search."
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