NCI Newhaven involved in a 3.5hr dramatic sea rescue

NCI Newhaven reported to the Coastguard that they had sight of a small bermudan-rigged sloop that was anchored dangerously close to rocks off the west breakwater in near gale force winds; the vessel was starting to take on water.

There appeared to be one crew member on deck with no lifejacket. NCI kept a vigilant watch on the vessel and tried to make radio contact but without success. The crew onboard appeared to be attempting to weigh anchor but could not retrieve it. Newhaven and Birling Gap coastguard rescue teams were tasked alongside a HM Coastguard search and rescue helicopter and Newhaven RNLI lifeboat. 

The vessel eventually rolled onto the rocks and was dis-masted. The winchman from the Coastguard helicopter was able to recover the casualty who was believed to have a broken leg and was eventually taken to hospital by ambulance.

The local Launch Authority believe that the prompt action by our Watchkeepers in reporting concerns for the lone yacht anchored of west beach probably saved the person’s life. The casualty had not realised how much danger he was in. The Launch Authority praised NCI and thanked them for a job well done.

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