Both Littlehampton RNLI lifeboats launch within seven minutes of each other.

Lifeboats News Release

Lifeboats and volunteer crews launched on Monday (17 July) to a powerboat that had broken down and a kayaker in difficulty.

Helicopter crewman being winched onto the lifeboat (library photograph)

RNLI/Ray Pye

Helicopter crewman being winched onto the lifeboat (library photograph)

The first launch was at 21.18pm on following a 999 call to UK Coastguard. The station's Atlantic 85 lifeboat Renée Sherman was in the process of launching when a further call was received about a man in the water who had become separated from his kayak, half a mile off Ferring.

The lifeboat was diverted to the incident and the crew of the stations D Class lifeboat Ray of Hope were paged and launched at 21.25pm and headed out to the powerboat, which had one man onboard and was reportedly drifting eastwards one mile south west of the harbour entrance.

During the journey, the crew of the D Class lifeboat were advised that the powerboat had been successfully restarted so they were tasked to support the Atlantic 85.

The kayaker had been supported in the water by another kayaker, before being transferred to the Atlantic 85 lifeboat where he received medical treatment from the crew as he was feeling unwell.

A Coastguard rescue helicopter was on scene at 21.41pm and the on-board medic was winched down to the RNLI lifeboat to continue the treatment. The lifeboat crew decided they would beach the Renée Sherman alongside Worthing Pier where the casualty could be transferred to the waiting ambulance and taken to hospital.

Due to the receding tide, the Atlantic 85 was unable to relaunch from the beach. The D Class lifeboat returned to the station and the Coastguard rescue helicopter picked up the medic and returned to its base. At 2.33am the water was deep enough to enable the Atlantic 85 to launch and return to the station.

Nick White, Lifeboat Operations Manager at Littlehampton commented: 'This was a great display of joint working between all the emergency services, Littlehampton RNLI crews, Solent Coastguard, the Coastguard Rescue Helicopter crew and the Ambulance Service.'

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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, in a normal year, 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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