Lifeboat crew rescue suicidal woman from Newhaven Swing Bridge

Newhaven Lifeboat
Newhaven Lifeboat

A suicidal woman on Newhaven Swing Bridge was rescued by Newhaven Lifeboat’s volunteer crew in the early hours of Thursday April 4.

Newhaven’s Severn Class lifeboat RNLB David and Elizabeth Acland was called to the incident at 12.46am as a strong spring tide flowed in the River Ouse.

A crew member joined the woman on the platform and slowly gained her confidence, moving closer and closer.

Once near enough he grabbed her and was then helped by two other crew members to transfer her on to the boat.

Newhaven RNLI Coxswain Paul Legendre explained: “Due to the height of tide and urgency of the situation the main lifeboat was the only option to enable us to get crew onto the structure and recover the casualty.

“There was a significant risk that should the casualty have entered the water she would have been quickly taken by the fast moving tidal currents.

“Although the lifeboat sustained some cosmetic damage during the service I have no doubt that this young woman’s life was saved, a testament to the amazing teamwork by our crew.”

During the daring rescue, the lifeboat held position close to the spine and platform at the south west corner of the bridge.

The lifeboat manoeuvred into position to recover the crew and casualty whilst stemming the fast incoming spring tides.

The woman and crew were safely transferred onto the lifeboat despite the fast moving current under the bridge.

A spokesperson for Newhaven Lifeboat said the impact of the large tide being pushed through a smaller channel significantly increases the water flow.

The lifeboat sustained some damage to rails during the manoeuvre but no one was injured.

Crew returned to the Lifeboat Station where Coastguard, Sussex Police and an ambulance were waiting.

The casualty was handed over to the South East Coast Ambulance Service and the lifeboat was ready for service at 1.50am.