Eastbourne RNLI lifeboat launched to assist coastguard in search of missing person

Volunteers from Eastbourne’s RNLI were on hand in the early hours of Wednesday (February 21) to help assist Solent Coastguard in a search for a missing person.

In a statement, a spokesperson for Eastbourne RNLI said: “Our D-class Inshore lifeboat 'David H' was requested to launch on service at 1.28am by Solent Coastguard, they were requested to join a multi agency search for a potential missing person.

“The launch was approved by the duty Launch Authority and the crew were paged before making their way to the station and quickly launched arriving on scene to join Coastguard Helicopter 163, multiple coastguard units and police.

“After 40 minutes of searching the decision was made to launch the All-weather lifeboat to assist.

“Both boats worked together with all agencies in deteriorating weather conditions and almost total darkness.

“After an extensive search was carried out, all assets were stood down and returned to their stations at 5.30am.”

Following this, volunteers crews were called out just over an hour later to attend to another incident at sea.

The spokesperson added: “Most of our volunteers had barely got home before the pagers sounded again at 6.49am requesting an immediate launch of 'Esme Anderson' after reports of a person in the water towards Hastings.

“The crew were stood down just before launch after local coastguards reported the casualty was safe on land.

“The crew was then paged again at 9.10am to launch the 'Esme Anderson' lifeboat to continue the previous nights search alongside partner agencies before being stood down at 11am.

“This was the first, second and third taskings for the new Eastbourne Lifeboat 'RNLB Esme Anderson'.

“All of our crew are volunteers and we would like to thank their employers for being supportive of them during this busy operational period.”

All-weather lifeboats support the RNLI’s lifesaving work and are capable of high speed and can be operated safely in all weather conditions.