1. ITV Report

Sussex lifeboats in yacht rescue

Hastings Lifeboat involved in sea rescue operation Photo: Hastings RNLI

A major search was launched by Sussex coastguards after reports that a 45ft yacht had been overturned in near gale force winds on Thursday night.

Three RNLI lifeboats were called out to aid the vessel which was travelling from Boulogne in Northern France to Eastbourne.

The Dover coastguard were alerted by a family in Sussex when the yacht did not return home to Eastbourne at the time it was expected. When the coastguard could not establish radio contact with the yacht the Hastings RNLI’s allweather lifeboat was launched to search the yacht's anticipated route.

When no trace was found of the yacht by 11.15pm on Thursday night, the Eastbourne lifeboat was also launched.

The search was called off when the Solent Coastguard heard radio communications by the missing yacht which was off Selsey in Sussex. The Selsey RNLI lifeboat was then launched and it made contact with the 'missing' yacht early on Friday morning.

After the incident the Coastguard reiterated how crucial it was for seafarers to share any changes in their travel plans.

“It’s important that sailors report their passage plans in advance but it’s equally important that if those plans are changed that they too should be passed on to avoid situations like this with our volunteer crews spending many hours in extremely difficult conditions”.

– Coxswain Mark Sawyer