Medway crewman missing after nine-hour lifeboat search off Beachy Head
By MariaSoleil | Tuesday, February 05, 2013, 16:43
A MEDWAY crewman who fell overboard from a tugboat in gale force winds is still missing following a nine-hour search off Beachy Head.
The man fell overboard during rough seas while travelling on a tugboat from Dover to Brighton (Photo: james_jhs | Flickr)
Eastbourne RNLI launched a search just after midnight today after receiving a distress call from crew onboard the 'Endurance' tug, positioned five miles off the east Sussex coast.
Two people were onboard the tug, which was towing a 60ft motorboat from Dover to Brighton when the tragedy happened.
It is believed the crewman fell overboard when trying to reattach the tow which was lost during high winds and rough seas.
Eastbourne RNLI crews were called out by the remaining crewman and were helped in their search by a coastguard helicopter.
Newhaven lifeboat soon joined the search for the missing man and during the night collected the motorboat which had drifted five miles from the scene.
A RNLI statement said: "The two lifeboats continued their search throughout the night and were joined at first light by mobile units from HM Coastguard.
"With nothing found the search was finally abandoned at 09.10 and the tired and battered volunteer crews returned to their respective stations having spent almost nine hours at sea."