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Littlehampton RNLI called out to assist capsized dinghy

Lifeboats News Release

On Monday 30 May, following a call from a member of the public to the coastguard reporting a capsized dinghy with one person in the water one mile south of Rustington, Littlehampton RNLI’s lifeboat Atlantic 85 Renée Sherman and volunteer crew launched at

The lifeboat headed out to sea in fine, windy weather conditions towards the reported location, where, on arrival there was no sign of the casualty.

The lifeboat crew located a man in a dinghy apparently towing a pot marker buoy, one and a half miles south of the harbour entrance.

Coastguard helicopter R163 joined in the search operation for the capsized dinghy, nothing was seen and the helicopter stood down.

The lifeboat crew made contact with the man in a dinghy who was having difficulty returning to the shore, drifting in the strong wind, and it was now apparent that he had lost his mast and sail power. The man was taken aboard the lifeboat and the crew requested the launch of the station’s D-class lifeboat Ray of Hope  to assist in the recovery of the dinghy, due to impending low water.

A tow was rigged up between the D-class and the casualty, with the man remaining on the Atlantic 85. On returning to the harbour, the casualty and its occupant were landed at their mooring, where the coastguard team were waiting to speak with the occupant.

Both lifeboats returned to the station at 10.40am, where they were made ready for service.

RNLI media contacts

• Ray Pye, Littlehampton RNLI Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer / 07854 074688, email
• Tim Ash, RNLI Public Relations Manager (London/East/South East) on 0207 6207426, 07785 296252, email
• James Oxley, RNLI Press Officer (London/East/South East) 0207 6207425 / 07786 668825, email
• For enquiries outside normal business hours, contact the RNLI duty press officer on 01202 336789

Key facts about the RNLI

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution is the charity that saves lives at sea. Our volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service in the United Kingdom and Ireland from 238 lifeboat stations, including four along the River Thames and inland lifeboat stations at Loch Ness, Lough Derg, Enniskillen, Carrybridge and Lough Ree. Additionally the RNLI has more than 1,000 lifeguards on over 240 beaches around the UK and operates a specialist flood rescue team, which can respond anywhere across the UK and Ireland when inland flooding puts lives at risk.

The RNLI relies on public donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. As a charity it is separate from, but works alongside, government-controlled and funded coastguard services. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824 our lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved at least 140,000 lives. Volunteers make up 95% of the charity, including 4,600 volunteer lifeboat crew members and 3,000 volunteer shore crew. Additionally, tens of thousands of other dedicated volunteers raise funds and awareness, give safety advice, and help in our museums, shops and offices.

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Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries

Members of the public may contact the RNLI on 0300 300 9990 or by email.


The RNLI is a charity registered in England and Wales (209603) and Scotland (SC037736). Charity number 20003326 in the Republic of Ireland