Littlehampton RNLI prevent yacht grounding on Goring beach

Lifeboats News Release

On Tuesday 2nd June HM Coastguard received reports of a yacht dangerously close to the beach near Goring and asked the RNLI at Littlehampton to intervene and assist.

The B-Class Renee Sherman heads out of the river Arun with four crew on board

RNLI/Beth Brooks

Littlehampton RNLI respond to reports of a yacht in danger

At 7.13pm the charity’s volunteers were paged and launched the station’s B Class lifeboat Renee Sherman. Sea conditions were calm and with a clear blue sky the crew soon located the 31 foot yacht, but it was at high risk of running on to the beach being less than 200m from the shore. Acting quickly, a member of the RNLI rescue team boarded the yacht to assess the situation and took control of the helm in order to steer the yacht away from the shoreline and in to a safer position.

The yacht’s helm had sailed on his own from Newhaven, but with light winds he had the vessel’s engine running which enabled a quick response from the RNLI volunteer once on board who was able to take control of the vessel’s course. The yacht’s helm had been intending to head to Littlehampton, but was unsure of it’s precise location, so the lifeboat shadowed the vessel to the harbour where the crew assisted in mooring the yacht on the east bank visitor pontoon. The lifeboat crew then ensured that the yacht’s helm was physically well and stood down.

Whilst preparing to recover the lifeboat back in to the boathouse at Fisherman’s Quay the crew received a second call from HM Coastguard at 8.20pm. Concerned members of the public had reported a paddle boarder in apparent distress off east beach, Littlehampton. The crew of Renee Sherman were able to respond immediately and had their second run out of the harbour that evening. They searched eastwards from the harbour entrance towards Rustington, but no casualty was apparent and after consultation with HM Coastguard the lifeboat was stood down. The crew, however, always keep alert and on their return journey they spotted a paddle boarder near shore enjoying the water jumping on and off the board. Once they had confirmed that all was well with the paddle boarder they headed back to the boathouse to recover the lifeboat and make it ready for service.

Jon Prater, Deputy Launching Authority, said:

“The sea conditions were very calm, with only a light wind, clear sky and good visibility. However, it is easy to get disorientated at sea and locating landmarks even from a short distance offshore can be problematic. It’s important to be aware of the limitations of your vessel, and importantly yourself, before heading out to sea. Solo sailing can be exhilarating, but it also comes with risks – know your own physical limits.”

ENDS

RNLI media contacts

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

For enquiries outside normal business hours contact the RNLI duty press officer on 01202 336789

The lifeboat in the water by Fisherman's Quay preparing for recovery by a trailer

RNLI/Ritchie Southerton

The lifeboat was being recovered from the first incident when it was sent out on another shout.

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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 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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