Busy 24 hours for Littlehampton RNLI

Lifeboats News Release

During last weekend both Littlehampton’s lifeboats were involved in three separate incidents.

Both lifeboats heading out to sea

RNLI/Ray Pye (Library)

Both lifeboats heading out to sea

At 12.13pm on Saturday 23 June, Littlehampton RNLI’s Atlantic D Class Ray of Hope lifeboat and volunteer crew launched in response to a call from the UK Coastguard to assist a fishing vessel with three people on board. The skipper had made a VHF radio call, reporting engine failure due to a flat battery, stating they were four miles south of Littlehampton Harbour. Weather conditions were good with a force four wind. At the scene the lifeboat crew rigged a tow line to the casualty in readiness for its return to the Littlehampton Marina, where it was safely moored at 1.20pm. The lifeboat returned to the station.

During Saturday afternoon a second call from the UK Coastguard was received requesting a search and tow operation for a fishing vessel, reported to be three miles south of Elmer that had broken down and was drifting on the tide without any power. The stations Atlantic 85 Renée Sherman and volunteer crew launched at 2.58pm and headed out to sea. The lifeboat crew were initially unable to locate the casualty. Following further VHF radio contact with the UK Coastguard a revised location of two miles south of Littlehampton and Middleton was given. The casualty with two male adults on board was subsequently located by the lifeboat crew and a tow line was rigged up. The casualty was towed back to Littlehampton Town Quay, where it was safely moored. The lifeboat returned to the station at 5.00pm.

At 3.00pm on Sunday 24 June, whilst on training exercise, the crew of the stations Atlantic 85 Renée Sherman were alerted by one of the two males onboard a speed boat that had apparently suffered engine failure and was unable to get back to its moorings and was drifting at the entrance to the harbour. The lifeboat towed the casualty back into Littlehampton Harbour and then returned to the station at 15.25pm, where it was made ready for service.

A RNLI spokesman said, “If you are planning to go sailing/motor boating, please always wear a lifejacket or buoyancy aid, ensure everyone onboard knows how to call for help, get appropriate training and check your engine and fuel before every trip”

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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Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries

Members of the public may contact the RNLI on 0300 300 9990 (UK) or 1800 991802 (Ireland) or by email.