Boy clinging to basketball rescued by Newhaven RNLI

Lifeboats News Release

Newhaven Lifeboat and her volunteer crew were requested for immediate launch by HM Solent Coastguard to assist a teenager reported to be in difficulty up to five hundred meters off Seaford beach.

Viewed set back from the beach behind open grassland, the Severn Class lifeboat ‘David and Elizabeth Acland’ speeds through sea, close in to shore.

Mrs S @SarahHowlers81

Newhaven Lifeboat making way to teenager in distress.

The tasking was received at at 4pm on Monday 1st June and the Severn Class lifeboat - the David and Elizabeth Acland - left Newhaven harbour at speed in response to the Mayday. The crew were briefed - maintaining social distancing guidelines - for this time critical launch and the lifeboat estimated a time of six minutes to reach the casualty.

'With off-shore wind and tide pushing to the east, our speed to the casualty was critical' said Lewis Arnold, Newhaven RNLI Coxswain.

Two crew searched with binoculars as the boat approached the approximate.

Two paddle boarders, who had spotted the fourteen year old boy clinging to a basketball to keep himself afloat, got hold of him and helped to bring the casualty towards the approaching lifeboat as it manoeuvred into shallow water for the rescue.

The casualty was extremely relieved to see Newhaven Lifeboat and her volunteer crew. Three crew prepared the A-Frame and scramble net and opened the starboard well deck for recovery. The casualty clung to the net whilst the strops were lowered into position. A single strop was used to recover the casualty onto the lifeboat.

Once on board, trained crew carried out a casualty care assessment. The fourteen-year-old boy showed signs of being very cold and exhausted. Due to the length of time he had been in the water, an ambulance was requested to meet the vessel back at Newhaven RNLI Station where the boy was treated by waiting paramedics.

The casualty had been swimming off Seaford beach and got into difficulty. He was clinging onto the basketball and struggling to stay afloat.

After returning to the station, the crew decontaminated the vessel and their kit returning the boat to service again at 5.30pm.

Coxswain, Lewis Arnold, said, 'We are very grateful to the passing paddleboarders who assisted this young lad. Without them, the outcome could have been very different for him. If you're swimming in this beautiful weather, please remember that the water is still cold, and the wind and currents can make it very difficult to get back to shore if you've swum out further than you intended.

'If you spot anyone in difficulty in the sea, please call 999 immediately and ask for the coastguard. We'd always rather launch to someone who doesn't need our help than not to hear about someone in trouble until it's to late.'

Media Contacts:

Rosalind Ashton, volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer, Newhaven Lifeboat Station (07900) 887423 rozhouchin@mac.com

Julie Rainey, South East Regional Media Manager, 07827358256, julie_rainey@rnli.org.uk

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.

Learn more about the RNLI:

For more information please visit the RNLI website or Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. News releases, videos and photos are available on the News Centre.

Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries

Members of the public may contact the RNLI on 0300 300 9990 or by email.

The RNLI is a charity registered in England and Wales (209603) and Scotland (SC037736). Charity number 20003326 in the Republic of Ireland.

View of Severn Class Lifeboat 'David and Elizabeth Acland' and vessel wake making way out through Newhaven harbour.

RNLI/Newhaven

Newhaven Lifeboat leaves harbour at speed to teenage casualty rescue.

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.

Learn more about the RNLI

For more information please visit the RNLI website or Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. News releases, videos and photos are available on the News Centre.

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.