A town's lifesavers are facing a bill of hundreds of pounds after a spate of vandal attacks.

Eastbourne RNLI must pay for repairs to its seafront museum out of funds normally reserved for equipment and running costs.

Vandals have smashed lettering on the front of the attraction and even ripped down the RNLI flag which used to fly proudly from the building.

Other damage has been caused by vandals pelting the museum with pebbles from the beach.

Eastbourne's famous bandstand has also come under fire as have several seafront kiosks.

Like the service itself, the museum is run totally by volunteers and relies on grants, donations and fund-raising activities.

Repairs are expected to cost more than £500.

Captain Ian Shearer, 79, a former lifeboatman, runs the museum which charts the history of the service and details some of the rescues carried out by crews.

He said: "They have damaged a lot of the outside of the building and stolen our flag. We can't even fly another one because the halliard - the rope which attaches the flag to the pole - has gone.

"It's very upsetting and costly for us, and totally pointless. Our funds could be better spent than on clearing up after these yobs."

Capt Shearer added: "The service has been busy during the recent floods but it seems some people don't appreciate that.

"I just hope this is the end of the damage and the police can catch whoever did this."

A police spokesman said the force was aware of the situation and is appealing for witnesses to come forward.

Anyone with information can contact Eastbourne Police on 0845 60 70 999.