Littlehampton RNLI assist three people in difficulty in their dinghy
Littlehampton RNLI received a request from the UK Coastguard at 6.24pm on Tuesday 14 June, following a 999 call from a member of the public who believed they had seen the crew of a dinghy were clinging to the posts at the harbour entrance.
The station's volunteer crew launched their Atlantic 75 lifeboat Renée Sherman at 6.29pm and headed out of the harbour towards the scene.
The casualties were located and, fortunately in this instance, it was a false alarm with good intent, as once the lifeboat arrived the crew of the dinghy confirmed that they were innocently foraging and were not in any distress.
After checking with the initial informant that it was the same dinghy they had seen, the lifeboat was stood down and returned to the station, where it was made ready for service.
Nick White, Lifeboat Operations Manager at Littlehampton RNLI Lifeboat Station, said: 'It appears on this occasion a member of the public was genuinely concerned for the welfare of the three people he saw, and was vigilant in calling the Coastguard and reporting it.
'If people see something and have good reason to think they are in difficulty, we would always urge them to call 999 and ask for the Coastguard. Although it turned out that we were not needed, we would rather launch in good faith and find that people are not in harm's way, than not launch and see a tragedy unfold.'
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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.