Three shouts in three days for Littlehampton RNLI.

Lifeboats News Release

The UK Coastguard requested two launches on Friday 21 July and one on Sunday 22 July

Both Littlehampton RNLI lifeboats leaving the station

RNLI/Ray Pye (Library)

Both Littlehampton RNLI lifeboats leaving the station

The first request was at 8:27am on Friday in response to a report of a swimmer in a black wet suit, pushing a pack in front of him and appeared to be in a vulnerable situation. The stations Atlantic 85 lifeboat Renée Sherman and volunteer crew launched and headed out to the reported scene east of Butlin’s in Bognor Regis. The casualty was located but was not found to be in any distress. The lifeboat stood down and returned to the station.

Three hours later at 11.24am the Atlantic 85 and crew launched in response to a call from a broken-down Dive vessel. The casualty had been under tow by another vessel, but the tow line had been lost and it was drifting towards the entrance to the harbour, but was unable to cross the bar, due to the low tide and depth of the water. Following a conversation between the lifeboat crew and the skipper of the casualty, the decision was taken for the casualty to put down its anchor and wait until a colleague’s dive boat was due to return and could then tow the casualty to its moorings. A contact number for the casualty was relayed to the UK Coastguard, so the situation could be monitored, and more assistance arranged if required. The lifeboat stood down and returned to the station.

At 19:29pm on Sunday 22 July the UK Coastguard reported that a yacht had suffered an electrical failure and run aground on West Beach, half a mile from the harbour entrance. A decision was taken to launch both lifeboats, with the D Class as back up in case the water was too shallow for the Atlantic 85 to reach the casualty. With both lifeboats at the scene the crew of the Atlantic succeeded in transferring one of its crew to the casualty and rigged up a tow line. One of the crew of the D Class also went aboard the casualty too assist in the journey back to the harbour. At 8:15pm the casualty was safely moored at Town Quay. Both lifeboats returned to the station at 8:22pm, where they were refuelled and made ready for service.

RNLI media contacts

  • Paul Dunt, Regional Media Officer (South East) on 0207 6207426, 07785 296252, email paul_dunt@rnli.org.uk
  • For enquiries outside normal business hours, contact the RNLI duty press officer on 01202 336789

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, 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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