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Littlehampton RNLI assist three people in difficulty in their dinghy

Lifeboats News Release

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.

Atlantic 85 Renee Sherman lifeboat heading out to sea

RNLI/Richard Ball

Atlantic 85 Renee Sherman lifeboat heading out to sea

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.'

RNLI media contacts

  • Ray Pye, Littlehampton RNLI Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer / 07854 074688, email press@littlehamptonlifeboat.org.uk
  • Tim Ash, RNLI Public Relations Manager (London/East/South East) on 0207 6207426, 07785 296252 email tim_ash@rnli.org.uk
  • Paul Dunt, RNLI Press Officer (London/East/South East) on 0207 620 7416, 07786 668825 email paul_dunt@rnli.org.uk
  • For enquiries outside normal business hours, contact the RNLI duty press officer on 01202 336789 email pressoffice@rnli.org

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.

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