Sea rescue drama: Boat ‘swamped’ in surf off Norman’s Bay

Dramatic rescue off Norman's Bay
Dramatic rescue off Norman's Bay

SEVEN PEOPLE and their pet dog had to be rescued from the sea off Norman’s Bay on Sunday afternoon, August 28.

Eastbourne lifeboats were launched after a small overloaded angling boat became swamped in the surf just after leaving the bay.

The group aboard the 18ft vessel got into difficulties shortly after launching from the beach.

They could not start the boat’s engine and, taking on water, they deployed an anchor in the heavy swell.

With no safety equipment on board a frantic mobile phone call was made to Dover Coastguard.

Fortunately a walker on the beach also contacted Dover from an emergency telephone on the promenade.

Both Eastbourne RNLI lifeboats raced to the scene - the inshore lifeboat (ILB) from its boathouse at Fishermans Green and the all-weather lifeboat (ALB) from the RNLI regatta arena where it was open for public viewing.

At the scene the volunteer ILB crew transferred the group to the inshore lifeboat and took them ashore whilst the ALB held station close by.

The ILB then attempted to tow the stricken vessel into shallow water but the heavy swell overcame the boat and it sank a few metres from the beach.

A line was taken ashore by the volunteer lifeboat crew and the vessel was hauled away from the surf up the beach.