AN experienced swimmer clinging to a buoy in the sea inadvertently scrambled a lifeboat.

The woman was spotted by a member of the public about 150 metres from the shore of Pevensey Bay at about 6.20pm yesterday.

Eastbourne’s small inflatable lifeboat was launched by Dover Coastguard to check up on the swimmer, believed to be in trouble.

When they arrived, though, they found her having a rest on a yellow marker buoy before planning to swim back to shore.

A spokesman for Eastbourne Lifeboat said: “We found a well-equipped and experienced swimmer partaking in her regular exercise regime, whereby she swims to the marker buoy, hangs on long enough to regain her breath and then swims back to shore.

“The swimmer was made aware of how the situation would have looked to an observer on the beach, particularly in the choppy conditions prevailing at the time.”

The crew suggested she call the Coastguard before setting out in future to avoid concern.