Sharon helms the Hayling RNLI Lifeboat to rescue a capsized fisherman.

Lifeboats News Release

Sharon Swan the new female helm at Haying Island RNLI Station rescued a fisherman who capsized in Chichester Harbour in strong winds on Thursday 11 June.

New lady helm Sharon Swan stands in front of the D-Class Lifeboat used in the rescue.

RNLI/Alan Bartlett

New lady helm Sharon Swan with the D-Class Lifeboat involved in the rescue.

In strong NE winds with gusts up to Force 7 and with heavy showers, two recreational fishermen in the Bosham Channel, Chichester Harbour were swamped and capsized. Neither was wearing a life jacket in their small boat and had warm jumpers which became heavy when wet. They managed to hang onto a moored yacht and to call for help.

The Coast Guard requested the launch of the D-Class lifeboat to go to their assistance, and helm Sharon on her first service totally in command launched the D-Class with two crew members and battled through the NE wind over tide to the Bosham Channel. The elder of the two fishermen had been helped ashore by a passing boat but the 50 year old casualty couldn’t get aboard. On arriving at the scene the lifeboat crew found the second casualty had by this time been helped to shallower water but had been in the water for some 20 minutes. He was taken aboard the lifeboat, wrapped in blankets and landed ashore at Bosham Quay. An ambulance had been called by the Coastguard Team and the paramedics checked both fishermen and declared them OK to go home.

Deputy Launch Authority Jules Hewson said of Sharon, ‘She was totally in command and completed a very professional service with a good outcome.’ Sharon said ‘It went well and I am glad to have completed a successful rescue.’ We are all relieved that the two men are fine and even got their boat back, but we would advise all boat and other watercraft users to wear a life jacket at all times.

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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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