ON THE EASTERN FORESHORE

Beached

By Colin Holden

Photo:December 1988.  A Belgian fishing boat missses the Harbour mouth and becomes stranded on the beach at Tidemills.

December 1988. A Belgian fishing boat missses the Harbour mouth and becomes stranded on the beach at Tidemills.

Colin holden.

Photo: Illustrative image for the 'ON THE EASTERN FORESHORE' page

Colin Holden.

Photo: Illustrative image for the 'ON THE EASTERN FORESHORE' page

Colin Holden.

Photo: Illustrative image for the 'ON THE EASTERN FORESHORE' page

Colin Holden.

Photo: Illustrative image for the 'ON THE EASTERN FORESHORE' page

Colin Ho;lden.

This page was added by Colin Holden on 18/03/2008.
Comments about this page

Oh, I remember this...all too well. I was due to be part of the lifeboat crew but had taken my daughter and nephew to the panto in Eastbourne. Just as we got back our pagers went off, but by the time I dropped the kids off we had a full crew so I gathered up my foul weather gear from the boathouse and along with my good friend Steve Kent we headed over to the buckle to lend the coastguards a hand.

The trawler (The Whitehorse) had managed to get a trawlwire and anchor down which initially held it off the beach. The plan was to wait for the tide so that the lifeboat could get closer and put a tow on and take her to deep water.

So leaving the coastguard Brian Sims to monitor the situation on the beach we all retired to the Buckle for some refreshment. Well, then the wire parted, the trawler was up on the beach banging around violently in the surf and the crew wanted to get off.

There was no breaches buoy then, (retired by the ministry) so we managed to get a line over to the boat and with half a dozen bodies pulling on it, we kept it tight and the crew shimmied down one by one to drop onto the beach.

Steve Kent, Mark Cottingham and I, (all lifeboat crew) were dressed in our foulies.  We stood in the surf to grab them as they dropped. It worked well for a while, but then one guy dropped into the surf as the wave went out and got dragged under the trawler as it went up on a swell.

Without thinking I grabbed onto his collar and dissapeared with him into the water. I remember breaking surface and looking up, still holding onto his collar, and seeing the bottom of the trawler coming down. Luckily for me, my buddie Steve Kent worked for Charringtons as a drayman (he was very strong) and he grabbed me (still holding on to the trawlerman) and dragged both of us up out of the surf and onto the beach.

I suppose we do stupid things, when we don't think straight. Dick Willis, the Coastguard Chief was as white as a sheet, and the decision was made to wait for the helocopter to arrive to winch off the remaining crew.

We took the trawlerman to rooms at the Sheffield to recover and dry out. Lucky Lucky Lucky.

By rob patten
On 18/05/2008

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