Littlehampton RNLI respond to five shouts in recent days

Lifeboats News Release

Volunteers at Littlehampton RNLI responded to five calls to assist several leisure crafts in difficulty.

Library photo - Lifeboat and helicopter in action

RNLI/Ray Pye

Library photo - Lifeboat and helicopter in action

On Thursday 29 June, following a call from the UK Coastguard, Littlehampton RNLI's Atlantic 85 lifeboat Renée Sherman and volunteer crew launched at 4.22pm to assist a boat with two men onboard, that had its anchor rope caught around the propeller.

At the scene, after attempting to free the anchor rope, the lifeboat crew decided to rig up a line to the casualty and tow it back to its home moorings, where it was safely secured.

Following this, on Sunday 2 July a VHF radio call was received by the UK Coastguard from a member of the nine-person crew of a rigid inflatable dive boat, reporting they had suffered engine failure and were unable to continue with their journey. Again, the station's Atlantic 85 lifeboat Renée Sherman and volunteer crew launched at 3.53pm. On arrival at the scene a tow line was rigged up and the casualty was towed back to Littlehampton Marina.

Three days later, on Wednesday 5 July a third leisure vessel with two adult men onboard made a mobile phone call to the UK Coastguard stating that their fishing boat had broken down and they were drifting three miles from the entrance to Littlehampton Harbour.

The station's Atlantic 85 Renée Sherman launched at 7.30pm and located the casualty, where a tow line was rigged up. The casualty was towed back to Littlehampton Yacht Club, where it was safely secured.

Friday 7 July the Atlantic 85 Renée Sherman lifeboat and volunteer crew launched at 5.44pm to reports of a capsized leisure vessel just off Bognor Pier. Shortly after the lifeboat set out, the launch was cancelled and the lifeboat returned to the station.

The most recent launch was on Saturday 8 July at 1.31pm in response to a call from the UK Coastguard requesting attendance to reports of a sailing craft that had capsized several times and that the one man onboard had been injured. The stations D-class lifeboat, Ray of Hope, was returning from exercise so the crew transferred to the Atlantic 85 Renée Sherman lifeboat and set out to the reported location.

At the scene, the UK Coastguard helicopter and Selsey’s new lifeboat, (which is not in service yet, but is putting volunteer crew members through their training) were also in attendance. The helicopter had winched down their medic in readiness to transfer the injured person. Due to the age of the casualty it was agreed that the new lifeboat with the casualty onboard should proceed to Littlehampton Harbour, escorted by the Atlantic 85 where the casualty could be transferred to an ambulance.

At 2.26pm both lifeboats returned to their stations, the helicopter landed to pick up the medic and then returned to base. Speaking following the call outs, Ray Pye, Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer said: 'While we will always answer the call for help, the RNLI would like everyone visiting the coast to make safety a priority, whether that means wearing a lifejacket, checking their vessel before they go afloat, ensuring they have means of communication, and knowing they should call 999 and ask for the UK Coastguard in the event of an emergency. It all comes down to people taking more care at the coast and respecting the water.'

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
  • Paul Dunt, RNLI Press Officer (London/East/South East) on 0207 620 7416, 07786 668825 email
  • For enquiries outside normal business hours, contact the RNLI duty press officer on 01202 336789 email
Library photo of Renee Sherman at sea

RNLI/Andy T Lee

Library photo of Renee Sherman at sea
Recovery of broken down 'dive' boat - 2 July

RNLI/Richard Ball

Recovery of broken down 'dive' boat - 2 July

Key facts about the RNLI

The RNLI charity saves lives at sea. Its volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service around the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland coasts. The RNLI operates over 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and more than 240 lifeguard units on beaches around the UK and Channel Islands. The RNLI is independent of Coastguard and government and depends on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824, its lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved over 142,700 lives.

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Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries

Members of the public may contact the RNLI on 0300 300 9990 (UK) or 1800 991802 (Ireland) or or by email.