Three rescues east of harbour keep Littlehampton RNLI busy saving lives at sea

Lifeboats News Release

As beaches and coastal waters get busier so too do the volunteers who crew the lifeboats in Littlehampton who have been called upon three times this week to those in difficulty at sea.

The RNLI boat Renee Sherman in the river Arun with a small boat that was recovered on board the lifeboat

RNLI/Richard Howlett

The RNLI volunteer crew recover a small boat and it's crew member back to Littlehampton harbour on 5 July

Sunday 5 July saw strong Force 6 south-westerly winds for most of the day along the coast of Littlehampton which began to ease a little at 7pm. A small boat had made it’s way out of the harbour carrying four persons, but the occupants soon found themselves in difficulty when the homemade engine failed and the waves were in danger of overwhelming the tiny eight foot long craft. Three of the occupants made it to the beach east of the harbour entrance, but the boat was unable to make it back to the harbour and, following concern for the remaining person, a call to HM Coastguard resulted in the RNLI’s B Class lifeboat Renee Sherman launching to assist at 7.40pm. A brisk Force 5 wind was still blowing along the shoreline causing the casualty vessel to have drifted as far as the East Beach Cafe where, rather than place the vessel on tow, both the casualty and his boat were lifted on to the lifeboat and taken back to the safety of the harbour.

Friday 10 July was calmer with a moderate north-westerly wind and good visibility. Two teenagers had been rowing a small inflatable near the beach in Rustington, but had got in to difficulty and were now in the water. Following a request from HM Coastguard the charity’s Renee Sherman was launched at 6.09pm, but after an initial search failed to find the boys it was then confirmed that they had made it back to the beach. The casualties were cold and one appeared to have taken in seawater, so they were passed in to the care of ambulance crew who were called as a precaution.

Sunday 12 July the volunteer crew of Renee Sherman headed east again at 3.23pm following a request from HM Coastguard. A twenty foot long motor launch had lost power and set anchor near East Preston to prevent drifting, but the anchor was dragging with a moderate westerly breeze pushing the boat towards the shore. Once on the scene the lifeboat crew promptly set up a tow line to recover the casualty vessel to deeper water as it was now only 100 metres from the beach and in danger of grounding. The vessel and it’s three occupants were towed back to their mooring at Littlehampton Marina and Renee Sherman was cleaned and returned to the boathouse at 5pm, ready to save more lives at sea.

Nick White, Lifeboat Operations Manager, said:

“In apparently calm conditions small craft can struggle at sea, even within a few metres of the shore, and soon be overwhelmed by waves with occupants becoming cold, disorientated and in need of immediate help. Being aware of the risks before heading out on the water and knowing the load limits of your boat will reduce the chances of you needing to be rescued. If you see someone in distress at sea call 999 and ask for the Coastguard.”


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Anthony Fogg, Deputy Lifeboat Press Officer, Littlehampton RNLI 07823 509032 [email protected]

Paul Dunt, Regional Media Officer, London and South East 07785 296252 [email protected]

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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 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.

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