Two drunken youngsters were rescued by the RNLI Brighton lifeboat this morning (Thursday 26 July) as an offshore wind swept them out to sea.
They were spotted by a fisheries protection vessel which reported what looked like a sinking boat near Brighton Marina shortly after 6am.
The lifeboat was launched and the crew found two youths on board the RIB, who appeared to be drunk and who “were poorly prepared to be at sea”.
The RNLI said: “The small tender had an engine but it didn’t appear to be functioning and was not accompanied by a fuel supply.
“They did not have any personal flotation on board and, to compound their predicament, they appeared to have no means of calling for assistance.
“They were attempting to paddle against a strong offshore wind and, in the helmsman’s opinion, the duo, thought to be in their late teens, appeared to be under the influence of alcohol and not ‘of sound judgment’.
“The vessel and her crew were returned to the marina under tow and handed into the safe custody of Sussex Police.”
An RNLI spokesman said: “Summer appears to have arrived for the charity’s volunteers here in Brighton – four launches in a little over the last 24 hours.
“As this excellent weather continues we would urge anyone heading the beach to take extra care – check the tides and check your equipment.
“Particularly those taking to sea on any kind of vessel – if you need help, it will come, but only if you have means of calling for it.
“These individuals are incredibly lucky. With no means of calling for help, or appearing to be in any condition to do so had they had the ability, they owe their lives to the fisheries vessel that spotted them.
“Today looks like be another fantastic day in Brighton. I’m sure many tens of thousands will flock to the beaches and enjoy it. But please do take care, particularly with this offshore wind.”