Eastbourne RNLI’s volunteer crew were paged at 10.10pm on Wednesday 7 September and requested to launch the Tamar Class All Weather Lifeboat ‘Diamond Jubilee’ to assist a 9m Yacht that had broken down in the shipping lanes and was being towed by another vessel.
The crew made their way to the scene and found the 9m yacht with one person on board being towed by a 23 yacht and making slow progress towards Eastbourne from Kent.
The casualty vessel was unable to steer and the weather conditions were poor with bands of rain and winds passing throughout the night alongside flashes of lightning. It would also have proven difficult for the 23m yacht to enter Sovereign Harbour at Eastbourne while towing the broken down yacht.
After carrying out a full assessment of the situation it was decided that the safest course of action was for the lifeboat to take over the tow.
The Diamond Jubilee returned to Sovereign harbour just after midnight with the casualty vessel before getting the lifeboat ready for launch again if needed.
Eastbourne RNLI Coxswain Mark Robinson said: ‘It was not a good night to be broken down in the shipping lanes and the crews on the yachts did exactly the right thing in calling for help. Rescues like this are only made possible thanks to donations from the public who enable us to continue saving lives at sea’.