Newhaven in multi-agency ship disappeared over weekend from engine failures

The RNLI Newhaven Severn-Class lifeboat “David and Elizabeth Acland” and its volunteer crew were launched at 2:43 am on Sunday August 22 to join a multi-agency search for a missing RIB with two people on board.

Coastal Helicopter HM Coastguard and Rescue Helicopter 175 scoured the coast off Worthing for four hours alongside RNLI crews from Shoreham, Brighton, Selsey and Newhaven.

Newhaven Lifeboat searched east of the Rampion Wind Farm for the missing vessel reported late in a very dark sky.

The crashed vessel was located by Rescue Helicopter 175 southeast of Shoreham. The accident vessel had suffered an engine failure. The two injured were taken care of by RNLI Brighton and the RIB was towed to safety.

Newhaven Lifeboat returned to the station and was back on the pagers at 4:48 am, ready for service.

Also this weekend, Saturday August 21, Newhaven Lifeboat received two launch requests by HM Coastguard in just over an hour. Both incidents concern unconnected vessels with an engine failure.

The first task at 2:59 p.m. was to assess the situation of a 6.5 meter fishing vessel with engine failure off Old Nore Point, two miles west of Newhaven Harbor, 500 meters off the coast.

Newhaven duty coxswain Lee Blacknell said: “The crashed vessel, with six people on board, was holding an electric anchor, but there were concerns about the battery.”

It was concluded that the safest course of action was to tow the damaged vessel to Newhaven, the nearest port.

Shortly after bringing the fishing boat safely back to dock, Newhaven Lifeboat received a request for VHF assistance from a vessel in Seaford Bay in Tidemills, just outside the swim buoys. The lifeboat liaised with HM Coastguard. The second launch in just over an hour was at 4 p.m.

Once again, the lifeboat was tasked with assessing the condition of the vessel with an engine failure. Captain-at-Arms Lee Blacknell and his crew of volunteers towed, awaiting the departure of the Dieppe Channel Ferry, before proceeding and docking the wrecked vessel at the visitors’ pontoon.

Lewis Arnold, coxswain from Newhaven, says “Situations can develop unexpectedly at sea. A vessel with engine failure is particularly vulnerable. We are pleased that our three service calls in the past 24 hours have ended positively. ‘

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The RNLI charity saves lives at sea. Its volunteers provide a round-the-clock search and rescue service around the coasts of the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland. The RNLI operates 238 lifeguard stations in the UK and Ireland and over 240 lifeguard units on beaches in the UK and the Channel Islands. The RNLI is independent from the Coast Guard and the government and depends on voluntary donations and bequests to maintain its rescue service. Since the founding of the RNLI in 1824, its crews and rescuers have saved more than 142,700 lives.

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