Littlehampton Lifeboat launched to reports of a person drifting west from Bognor

Lifeboats News Release

Littlehampton RNLI’s Atlantic B Class lifeboat ‘Renee Sherman’ launched at 1.13pm on 17 September to reports of a person last seen floating on an inflatable ring near Bognor seafront.

Here is a picture of the B Class Littlehampton RNLI lifeboat Renee Sherman in the River Arun close the station boat house

RNLI/Anthony Fogg

Littlehampton RNLI lifeboat 'Renee Sherman' was used in the multi-agency response

The lifeboat was tasked by HM Coastguard following reports of a man seen drifting off Bognor beach. The man had been observed drifting to the west and there was concern for his safety.

The Renee Sherman was launched, arriving on the scene within 20 minutes. An initial search revealed no indication of a person in the water so HM Coastguard provided co-ordinates for the lifeboat's volunteer crew to undertake a search, parallel to the coast in the light wind conditions with good visibility.

HM Coastguard then escalated the search to a multi-agency response requesting the launch of the Selsey RNLI inshore D Class lifeboat Betty and Thomas Moore and the HM Coastguard helicopter.

Using predictive tidal models for the time of day and wind conditions, the search was directed to the west of Bognor where any potential casualty may have been carried. Following a 90 minute operation witness reports of a man seen leaving the water at Aldwick, a mile or so to the west of Bognor, enabled the police to confirm that the man was safe and well at home ‘enjoying a cup of tea’.

The search operation was stood down at 3.17pm and at 4.09pm Renee Sherman and her crew were back at the Littlehampton RNLI boat house.

Jon Prater, Deputy Launch Authority at Littlehampton Lifeboat Station said: ‘It was a hot and sunny afternoon with light winds, but even in these conditions it is easy to drift a long way from shore and get in to difficulty. Fortunately on this occasion a member of the public did the right thing in reporting their concerns for the well being of a person seen on the water and we are pleased that the shout ended without incident.

The RNLI is an independent charity committed to saving lives at sea and we would always suggest any enjoyment of the water, even in the calmest conditions, is undertaken with a clear knowledge of the local tides, winds and risks to personal safety’.

ENDS

RNLI media contacts

Anthony Fogg, Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer, Littlehampton RNLI 07823 509032 ant_fogg@rnli.org.uk

Paul Dunt, Regional Media Officer, London and South East 07785 296252 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 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.

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