Lifeboat and coastguard teams in nine-hour houseboat rescue

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Newhaven’s rescue teams were launched in the early hours of Sunday morning (October 25) after a houseboat got into difficulties on the River Ouse.

The owner of the houseboat had planned to tow the vessel to Lewes but due to failing light and the craft making a slower pace than planned, he decided to stop approximately halfway and anchor the vessel.

As the tide started going out, the anchor started dragging and the vessel started moving south down the River Ouse.

The alarm was raised and HM Coastguards attended the scene. Upon arrival, it was established the single occupant aboard was okay and had managed to tie the vessel to a post.

While climbing over a stile on the top of the river bank, one of the coastguard team landed badly and injured his ankle.

Some of the lifeboat crew at the station were tasked to proceed to the location and an ambulance was called.

As the occupant on the houseboat was safe and secure at this time, the inflatable Y-Boat took coastguard team members across the river to help their injured colleague.

The Y-Boat then proceeded back to Southease Bridge to collect blankets and a stretcher, and then stood by until paramedics arrived. The injured person was then walked one mile to a waiting ambulance.

The Y-Boat then proceeded up river to the houseboat, where the decision was made to assist the vessel all the way to Lewes to avoid it getting into further difficulties.

By this time, the tide was flooding and the vessel was safely towed to Lewes by the inflatable Y-Boat, where it was handed over to waiting HM Coastguard teams.

The lifeboat return to station almost nine hours later at 09:40am and was ready for service shortly afterwards.

Newhaven Coastguard Team thanked Newhaven Lifeboat crew for an outstanding job.

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