Hastings lifeboat saves sinking yacht

Lifeboat shot of stranded yacht, the Border Collie
Lifeboat shot of stranded yacht, the Border Collie

HASTINGS Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) lifeboat rescued a sinking yacht off the coast of Hastings last Saturday afternoon (March 22).

The Border Collie, which had eight people on board, was on its way from Dover to Brighton when it got into trouble off the coast of Hastings.

Water began pouring into the boat, but unable to find the source and stop the leak the crew called the Hastings lifeboat, which sped out to sea to rescue the stricken vessel.

Steve Warne, Hastings RNLI coxswain, said: “This was a genuine emergency, with a boat full of passengers which was taking on water and essentially sinking. However, the lifeboat was able to quickly get on scene, control the situation, and get the casualty safely to harbour.”

The lifeboat put two crew members aboard the yacht with a salvage pump in order to get rid of the water, and once the leak was under control the boat was towed and taken safely to Eastbourne Sovereign Harbour.

The RNLI were contacted by the yacht’s crew at 2.30pm and the entire rescue took about five and a half hours.

Clive Mayhew, RNLI volunteer launch and recovery tractor driver, added: “The conditions weren’t bad but the swell was against us. We had to be careful and it was a slow tow to Eastbourne.

It was a good result and the people on the yacht were happy to see us. They realised what could have potentially been a disaster and had the good sense to act quickly, and it stopped a problem becoming a crisis.”

Operating both all-weather and inshore lifeboats, Hastings lifeboat crews have been awarded with over 30 awards for their bravery.

The Hastings lifeboat team is diverse, and members come from a range of backgrounds and professions, including paramedics, conservatory builders and a doctor.