Newhaven RNLI lifeboat was called out in the early hours of Thursday to a fishing vessels that found itself drifting after losing its rudder

Newhaven RNLI lifeboat was called out in the early hours of Thursday to a fishing vessel that found itself drifting after losing its rudder. Photo: RNLI/Newhaven

The Newhaven RNLI life crew were called out in the early hours yesterday morning to a fishing vessels that found itself drifting in one of the busiest shipping channels in the world.

Pagers raised Newhaven Lifeboat’s volunteer crew at 4:14am on Thursday 17 February. The Severn class all-weather lifeboat ‘David and Elizabeth Acland’ was launched to a 30-metre fishing vessel that had lost its rudder.

The 30-metre fishing vessel was drifting in the Channel’s Traffic Separation Scheme (TSS) with six crew on board.

Newhaven Lifeboat and her six-volunteer crew launched into rough sea conditions with storm force winds and poor visibility.

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Once on scene 7NM south of Beachy Head, Newhaven RNLI assessed the situation and made the decision to tow the casualty vessel to a point of safety.

Lewis Arnold, Coxswain, says, ‘Given the tide, wind and sea state, we headed for a safe anchorage in the lee of Beachy Head. A commercial tug was en route with an ETA of 16 hours.’

The tow was successfully set. Once the Lifeboat and casualty vessel reached calmer waters, the fishing vessel’s anchor was deployed.

‘We stood by until the vessel was holding anchor.’

Newhaven RNLI volunteer crew returned to station, with pagers back on at 1.38pm.

Gary Marsh, Deputy Launch Authority, says: “Our volunteers are the backbone of the RNLI and the lifesaving work we do. We are currently recruiting Inshore Lifeboat crew in Newhaven.”

TSS – Traffic Separation Scheme. Over 400 commercial vessels use the Dover Strait every day. It’s under full radar surveillance and operates a Traffic Separation Scheme with two lanes running through the strait for inward and outward-bound traffic. The rules for navigating in or near a TSS are internationally agreed.

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Newhaven RNLI lifeboat called to aid drifting fishing vessel in Channel TSS

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