Littlehampton RNLI, UK Coastguard, Police and Fire & Rescue in two searches

Lifeboats News Release

Both searches happened on Tuesday evening 31 July following calls from UK Coastguard and the Police.

Library photograph - D Class - Ray of Hope

RNLI/Ray Pye (Library)

Library photograph - D Class - Ray of Hope

The first call was at 8:30pm reporting a person in the River Arun. The stations D Class lifeboat Ray of Hope and volunteer crew launched ten minutes later and headed up the river towards the reported location, near Tortington, Arundel. The search began along the river from Tortington to the A27 at Arundel. The Fire and Rescue Service tasked the lifeboat to search up to the old road bridge in Arundel. The casualty was located by the lifeboat crew on the west bank of the river by the old windmill and was escorted up the river bank to the A27 by a crew member and handed over to the Coastguard Rescue Team. The lifeboat was stood down and returned to the station at 9:40pm.

Whilst on the slipway having returned from the first incident the lifeboat and same crew were tasked by the UK Coastguard to the second incident following a Police report of someone shouting for help near Greatham Bridge on the River Arun. The lifeboat launched and set course at 9:56pm. In fading light, an extensive search was conducted fifteen miles upriver from the from the lifeboat station, along the river and river banks between Greatham and Timberley bridges. At 1:10am, it was agreed that the search should be called off as it had proved inconclusive. The lifeboat was stood down and returned to the station at 1:29am where it was refuelled and made ready for 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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