Marathon search by Eastbourne Lifeboat
Eastbourne Inshore Lifeboat (ILB) spent almost five hours today searching in freezing conditions and driving rain for a person following the discovery of a motorcycle and clothing found abandoned on the cliff-top at Belle Toute
The volunteer lifeboat crew were paged at 10.30 this morning and tasked to search the shoreline for a person who was thought to have jumped from the cliff-top earlier in the day and been carried away by the tide. Along with coastguard teams from Birling Gap and Eastbourne, coastguard rescue helicopters from Lydd and local police, an exhaustive search was conducted from Birling Gap to Cooden. Mid way through the operation the ILB returned to station for refuelling and for the crew to warm up before returning to sea. Nothing was found and the combined services were finally stood down at 15.15. The ILB returned to station and made ready for service.
Sadly, shortly after high tide the local cliff rescue team discovered the missing body on the beach close to where the initial search began.
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.