Callouts Picture Archive

Below are copies of pictures taken from our archive of photographs of callouts through the years. As with thumbnails throughout the site click on a picture to see an enlargement. Each photo has a brief narrative giving some information about the callout shown but for more details check to see if there is a record in  the "Historic Archive" feature on the "Callouts" page. If not and you want further details contact the webmaster and he will do his best to help.

In 1908 the steam-trawler 'Gamecock' was driven ashore in a full gale. The lifeboat's engine failed as she tried to reach her and the 'Michael Henry' was also driven ashore. The trawler crew were rescued by breeches buoy. The steam-trawler Gamecock ashore east of Newhaven in 1908 In 1924 in a full SW gale the steamer "Dieppe" ran aground attempting to enter Newhaven harbour, but the steamer was in no immediate danger The tug 'Richmere' went to the steamer's aid but was driven ashore. The lifeboat rescued all 4 tug crew despite suffering damage when the tug rolled on to the lifeboat In 1929 the Danish schooner 'Mogens Koch' was driven ashore east of Cuckmere Haven in a SW storm.
All 10 crew were saved but some of them and the lifeboat crew were injured in the terrible journey home. Coxswain Richard Payne was awarded the RNLI Silver Medal for this service, a full account of which can be read on the Historic Archive page. This merchant vessel caught fire after a collision off Beachy Head in 1966. The 'Kathleen Mary' stood by until the situation was under control. The vessel was eventually beached off the Isle of Wight. In 1966 this vessel was involved in a collision. Tugs stand by the stricken vessel.
The vessel was safely beached in Seaford Bay. In 1968 the 'Kathleen Mary' stood by this vessel which caught fire after an explosion. She was safely beached off Eastbourne. This large barge ran aground 1 mile west of Beachy Head in a fresh WSW wind and choppy sea. In 1978 this German coaster's deck-cargo of timber shifted in a SW gale. The lifeboat arrived to find the car ferry Senlac standing by the casualty which had a 45 list. The lifeboat crew passed cutting gear to the coaster allowing some of her cargo to be released, reducing her list to 20.
Once the list was reduced the coaster made for Shoreham escorted by the lifeboat until out of danger. In 1980 in a SW severe gale the Newhaven and Shoreham lifeboats launched to rescue the crew of this Greek freighter. Whilst making her way to the scene at reduced speed the Louis Marchesi was hit by a huge sea and was knocked down beyond 120 from vertical In the knockdown one crew member was thrown overboard, but recovered by his safety harness, whilst the Second Coxswain was injured. The lifeboat carried on for a further 3 miles until it was established that all the freighter's crew had been rescued This 77ft trader lost steering in Seaford Bay and was towed into Newhaven in 1980 As the lifeboat was putting to sea in 1980 to test the newly fitted VHF direction finding equipment a report was received of a swimmer in trouble off the Martello Tower at Seaford
In rough seas and a SW gale the swimmer, a 13 year old French student, was pulled aboard and resucitation was immediately started. Unfortunately he did not survive. In 1981 in a SSE severe gale gusting to storm force 10 a small trawler with 2  PoB capsized at the breakwater end. The Relief Waveney on service to a yacht in difficulties off Rottingdean returns to join the Emergency Relief Lifeboat 'Tynesider' in searching for the two men. The Waveney quickly spotted and recovered one man clinging to wreckage. A Royal Navy helicopter joined the search as the Waveney searched the western side and the Watson battled the appalling conditions on the eastern side of the breakwater. Despite a thorough search in attrocious conditions the second man was not found and the two lifeboats returned to station having saved one.
In 1982 this large brigantine was towed into harbour. She was safely berthed on the East Quay with the help of the pilot boat. In 1983 this Greek coaster broadcast a Mayday call reporting a severe list 14 miles south of Beachy Head in a near gale. 6 of the 8 crew were rescued by the lifeboat and then taken by RAF helicopter to Shoreham. With only the Master and Mate on board the coaster was escorted by the lifeboat and the tug 'Typhoon' to a safe anchorage off Newhaven. This new yacht on passage to Brighton Marina suffered an engine fire and a crew man had a suspected broken leg.
This coaster was ablaze 20 miles off the coast in 1983. As well as the lifeboat the tug 'Meeching' was sent from Newhaven to help the warship and other merchant ships to fight the fire. Naval ratings from the minesweeper board the coaster to bring the blaze under control. The fire is eventually extinguished. This exhausted windsurfer became stranded on the Ackermans outside the West Pier
        at Newhaven.
A heaving line was thrown to the man and he was safely pulled out to the lifeboat. This 100 ton Thames barge was in difficulties in 1987 and was towed by the lifeboat to a safe anchorage off Eastbourne. In 1987 this charter fishing boat started to take on water and sink. Another vessel took all the persons off and started a tow towards Newhaven. To supplement the salvage pump the crew took turns aboard the vessel baling with buckets to keep her afloat. She was safely towed into the marina and placed on a slipway. In fog this trawler ran up the stern of the angling boat in 1987.
Escorted by the lifeboat the trawler managed to make harbour with the angling vessel lashed alongside. On the morning following the 1987 storm a French fishing vessel was disabled and sinking 7 NM SW of Newhaven. In winds gusting to force 11 the vessel and were crew of five were saved in a service which earned the Coxswain Len Patten a framed Letter of Thanks from the Chairman of the RNLI. In 1989 this small angling vessel was taking on water south of Beachy Head. Despite our best efforts we were unable to keep the boat afloat but her crew of 2 were saved.
In January 1990 this car ferry was crippled in mid channel when 120 mph winds created huge waves that smashed the bridge windows swamping equipment and  causing  a short circuit. Newhaven lifeboat and helo Rescue 174 were sent to assist but before they arrived emergency power and steering was restored and the ferry continued her slow passage to Dieppe. As the already stricken ferry entered Dieppe she was swept by a large wave into the harbour wall ripping a hole in the hull under the waterline causing her to list badly. This single-handed Swedish sailor got into trouble off Newhaven 6 weeks after setting off from Spain. This tragic scene awaited the lifeboat early on a summer morning in 1990.
In calm conditions this French trawler appeared to have towed herself over when her fishing gear was snagged. One survivor already rescued by a sister trawler was suffering cold water immersion cramp and was recovered onto the lifeboat. The sole survivor was airlifted by Royal Navy helicopter to hospital. When the trawler was righted the missing body of one of her crew was found in the forepeak and the lifeboat was asked to recover him. This large charter yacht bound for the Mediteranean developed steering failure in the shipping lanes off Newhaven.
This large trawler ran aground on a bank on the eastern side of the harbour in a SW gale. Having passed a tow using a rocket line the tow rope had to be slipped as the heavy trawler dragged the lifeboat towards the bank. As the lifeboat came back from picking up a new tow line the trawler managed to clear the bank and head into deeper water. The lifeboat then escorted the trawler safely into harbour. Two large merchant vessels collided in dense fog 29NM SE of Newhaven in 1994. Newhaven, Eastbourne and Hastings lifeboats were launched and 2 helicopters sent..
Heavy lifting vessels and tugs were sent to deal with the 2 damaged ships and Newhaven lifeboat stood by until all was under control at 03:30 after 13 hours at sea. In a SSE storm gusting to hurricane force this 9,300 ton bulk-carrier broke down 7 NM south of Beachy Head. The lifeboat stood by in appalling conditions as repairs were effected on the casualty. Eventually the repairs were completed and the ship resumed her passage, escorted for a while by the lifeboat. The RNLI's Chief of Operations sent a letter of thanks to Coxswain Mike Beach and the crew for this service of 9 hours in severe weather conditions..

In 1998 a 60m Dutch sail training ship took shelter from the weather and spent the night in Newhaven. The following morning she left in a SSW gale force 8 with rough seas. She had 51 PoB and after the Pilot had disembarked she struck the bottom on the east side of the harbour. The lifeboat, tug "Meeching" and the Coastguard rescue helicopter were all dispatched to her aid. The lifeboat was manouvered inside the schooner and three attempts were made to come alongside during which the lifeboat sustained damage. The tug "Meeching" and the lifeboat worked together to connect tow lines and on three occasions lines were connected between the tug and the casualty but all parted. All persons were safely evacuated from the schooner by helicopter and landed ashore without injury. Since this major rescue took place so close to the large crowd accumulated ashore we have a rare large selection of photos. The full report of this service can be read on the "historic archive" page.

The schooner was too heavy for the lifeboat to tow in the conditions. Several attempts were made to get alongside the casualty. In the shallow water and high waves the schooner was thrown against the lifeboat causing damage to her bow. In the prevailing conditions it was decided to commence evacuation of the persons aboard the schooner by helicopter. The tug Meeching tried desperately to stop the schooner being driven ashore.
In the rough seas the tug was herself bumping on the bottom. As the seas slammed into the stranded schooner the spray rose almost to the tops of her masts. Ashore a growing team of coastguards, police, ambulance and council personnel awaited the landing of the casualties. The casualties were airlifted in pairs to speed the evacuation. A testament to the skill and professionalism of the helicopter crew, all 51 PoB were rescued without injury.
A Letter of Thanks was sent by the RNLI Chief of Operations in recognition of skipper Bob Domin's excellent seamanship during his attempts to pull the schooner clear. The helicopter clears the scene having airlifted all aboard the schooner to safety on the beach. One of the parted tow lines can be clearly seen here trailing from the schooner's bow. With the schooner firmly ashore and all persons safe there is nothing more for the lifeboat to do until attempts to refloat the vessel over the following days. As the sea retreats the schooner settled in a more upright position.