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Shoreham RNLI all weather lifeboat called to drifting cargo ship

Lifeboats News Release

The Shoreham all weather lifeboat was launched at 3am on Thursday 1 March to an 88m broken down cargo ship drifting towards the Rampion wind farm in the English Channel.

The ship with seven crew on board had suffered engine failure 14 miles off Shoreham. Once on scene at the cargo ship, the lifeboat dropped its anchor and the crew stood by for five hours in rough seas and freezing temperatures until a tugboat arrived from Bembridge on the Isle of Wight to take it under tow.

Once the tow had been secured, the tug started to tow the vessel to Southampton.

The lifeboat then left the scene and returned to station.

Lifeboat coxswain Steve Smith said: 'The conditions were freezing and the seas were rough with the high winds. We remained on scene until we were sure the tow was safely under way and all on board were ok.

'We returned to station with a frozen boat literally. Instead of being just wet it was covered in ice.'

Drifting cargo ship off Rampion wind farm

RNLI/Michelle Tugwell

Drifting cargo ship off Rampion wind farm

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The Royal National Lifeboat Institution is the charity that saves lives at sea. Our volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service in the United Kingdom and Ireland from 238 lifeboat stations, including four along the River Thames and inland lifeboat stations at Loch Ness, Lough Derg, Enniskillen and Lough Ree. Additionally the RNLI has more than 1,000 lifeguards on over 240 beaches around the UK and operates a specialist flood rescue team, which can respond anywhere across the UK and Ireland when inland flooding puts lives at risk.

The RNLI relies on public donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. As a charity it is separate from, but works alongside, government-controlled and funded coastguard services. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824 our lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved at least 140,000 lives. Volunteers make up 95% of the charity, including 4,600 volunteer lifeboat crew members and 3,000 volunteer shore crew. Additionally, tens of thousands of other dedicated volunteers raise funds and awareness, give safety advice, and help in our museums, shops and offices.

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