Busy weekend for the Newhaven RNLI lifeboat team

It was a busy weekend for Newhaven’s RNLI volunteer crew, who were called out to three incidents and undertook a further three training exercises.

Tuesday, 6th April 2021, 5:37 pm
The lifeboat in action this weekend

The first incident came when the crew was tasked by the Coastguard to assist with a 32ft yacht with two people on board at 9.37pm on Friday.

The vessel had suffered engine failure south of Newhaven Harbour.

Lewis Arnold, Newhaven Coxswain, said: “The vessel was at anchor when we arrived on scene, however, it’s position presented as a possible danger to commercial vessels transiting in and out of the harbour.”

An alongside tow was set and the vessel was successfully towed and placed alongside at Newhaven marina.

The following morning at 7am, Newhaven’s David and Elizabeth Acland launched for the first of three scheduled exercises afloat, and again for the second at midday.

Under current Covid-19 regulations, training afloat is restricted to 24 hours every ten days.

Lewis Arnold, Coxswain, said: “We’re gearing up for a busy summer again this year, anticpating the staycationers to make the most of the beach and local coastline.

“It’s critical for all our crew to be well versed for all possible scenarios.”

As the lifeboat was entering the harbour at 2.35pm, a request was received from the Coastguard to proceed towards Birling Gap following reports of three persons cut off by the incoming tide.

Mr Arnold said: “Birling Gap CRT officers had rendez-voused with several persons on the western end of the Seven Sisters who had been cut off by the tide and waded around the cliff face.”

The team conducted a shoreline search from Cuckmere Haven to Birling Gap but no one was seen to be in difficulty.

Later that afternoon, the Coastguard requested launch of the lifeboat after personal effects were discovered at the top of Seaford Head.

Mr Arnold said: “We deployed the Y-class with two crew to conduct a closer shoreline search from Splash Point to Cuckmere, whilst Coastguard and Sussex Police made enquires around the personal items.”

The area was searched as best as possible by the lifeboat crew.

Shortly after arriving at Cuckmere, revised information was reported that the person had been found safe and well ashore and all units were stood down.

The demanding level of action did not stop the crew from their scheduled training plan that evening.

At 7pm, the David and Elizabeth Acland and her volunteer crew launched for the third and final exercise in 24 hours.