A call-out to assist a yacht with engine failure quickly escalated to a medical emergency for the Eastbourne’s all-weather lifeboat crew.

The skipper of the 9 metre (29.5ft) yacht initially contacted Dover Coastguard yesterday evening when his vessel lost all power and he was unable to start the engine for the final approach to Sovereign Harbour.

Eastbourne’s volunteer lifeboat crew launched the all-weather lifeboat with the expectation of a routine tow back to the marina.

When on scene the yacht’s skipper informed the lifeboat that his partner was unwell so crewman Alex Emberley was transferred to the stricken vessel to assess the casualty’s condition.

It became apparent that urgent medical attention was required so an emergency ambulance was requested to be despatched.

The prevailing sea conditions prevented the safe transfer of the casualty to the lifeboat so the yacht with the casualty below decks was quickly towed to the marina where she was transferred to a waiting ambulance.

An Eastbourne RNLI spokesman said: ‘After further assessment and treatment from the paramedics the casualty was rushed to Eastbourne District General Hospital.’