Eastbourne’s inshore lifeboat (ILB) launched on Sunday afternoon following multiple reports from members of the public of red distress flares being fired a mile off Eastbourne pier.
The volunteer ILB crew were paged at 16.37 by HM Coastguard after they had received numerous 999 calls from members of the public who had been enjoying the sunshine on Eastbourne beach. Reports indicated that a cloud of black smoke was seen coming from a small speedboat followed by red flares approximately a mile off the pier. The ILB was quickly launched and sped towards the reported location. When on scene they found the speedboat had suffered engine failure and was drifting helplessly in the tide. The lone occupant with no other means of summoning assistance had fired off his distress flares. The disabled vessel was taken under tow to Sovereign Harbour where it was passed to the marina workboat.
Key facts about the RNLI
The RNLI charity saves lives at sea. Its volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service around the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland coasts. The RNLI operates over 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and more than 240 lifeguard units on beaches around the UK and Channel Islands. The RNLI is independent of Coastguard and government and depends on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824, its lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved over 142,700 lives.