Newhaven lifeboat searches for ‘sinking’ vessel

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The Newhaven Lifeboat volunteer crew was launched on Monday afternoon (June 15) to reports of a sinking vessel.

Newhaven’s relief Severn Class lifeboat ‘RNLB Daniel L Gibson’ was launched at 2:50pm on Monday after HM Coastguards received a mayday from a sinking vessel.

Newhaven lifeboat proceeded at full speed to the position, given as 0.75 miles south of Rottingdean.

When the lifeboat arrived at the position, there was no sign of any vessel in distress.

Coastguards advised the distress signal had been picked up on the Fairlight aerial, which is east of Hastings, and the direction of the distress call could have been transmitted anywhere between Cuckmere and Brighton Marina.

Newhaven lifeboat searched the distress call bearing from Brighton to Cuckmere and nothing was found. The lifeboat was assisted by HM Coastguard rescue helicopter R104, which carried out a comprehensive search from the air.

A final search took place from Brighton and back to Newhaven, before the lifeboat stood down at 5:45pm.

Second Coxswain Lee Blacknell said: “Although this could have been a hoax, we will always assume it is a real emergency and conduct a full search.”

The lifeboat was launched for a second time on Monday, at around 6pm, to reports of a 41ft yacht with a fouled propeller. The Dutch vessel had got its propeller fouled with a fishing marker buoy approximately one mile south of Rottingdean and were stuck fast.

The lifeboat positioned itself to the south of the vessel and a grappling hook was used to retrieve the line and cut the vessel free. A tow was then established and the disabled yacht was then safely taken into Brighton Marina.

The lifeboat returned to station at 8:30pm after almost six hours in action.

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