Two rescued as glider crashes off Beachy Head

Two men were rescued after becoming stranded out at sea as their glider crashed into the ocean off Beachy Head.

Incident off Beachy Head
Incident off Beachy Head

A Coastguard helicopter along with two lifeboats and search teams were called to the Eastbourne cliffs earlier this afternoon after an aircraft was seen crashing into the water.

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A passing pilot, who was flying in the area at the time, helped emergency services locate the stricken pair who had been using the glider as it went down off the coast.

Ashley Rawson, Aeronautical Operations Controller at HM Coastguard said: “The professionalism and quick thinking displayed by a passing pilot has contributed to a faster rescue response due to the accurate location information.”

The coastguard said it had originally received a call about the crash from a member of the public however, the details of the location of where the aircraft had come down were vague.

Moments later teams received further details from a passing light aircraft pilot, flying for Oscar Romeo Aviation Ltd.

The Coastguard helicopter along with Eastbourne and Newhaven RNLI lifeboats, Coastguard rescue teams from Eastbourne and Birling Gap and officers from Sussex police were then sent to the scene.

Two men were winched to safety from the glider by the Coastguard helicopter and were taken to the top of Beachy Head. The Coastguard said they did not require medical treatment.

Ashley added: “Luckily both glider occupants were unscathed and did not spend long in the sea. I would encourage all general aviation pilots to adopt such airmanship and observe and report incidents via the correct means, (via the Distress & Diversion Cell).”