Shoreham RNLI lifeboats launched to search for missing rigid inflatable craft

Lifeboats News Release

Shoreham’s all weather and inshore lifeboats were launched just after midnight on Sunday 22 August to look for a small rigid inflatable craft with two people on board which was overdue.

The inshore D class lifeboat launching

RNLI/Michelle Tugwell

The inshore D class lifeboat launching

The RIB had left Worthing Beach near the Pier on Saturday morning 21 August with two men on board who intended to go fishing. They were due to return about 8pm but had not been seen and attempts to contact them had been unsuccessful.

Both lifeboats started a search pattern and were then joined by the Coastguard helicopter Rescue 175 and Selsey all weather lifeboat who headed to a position south of Worthing.

At this stage it was unknown where the persons had gone fishing, so the search area was initially south of Worthing including the Rampion wind farm.

Shoreham and Littlehampton coastguard rescue teams were conducting a shoreline search. The search area increased and Newhaven and Brighton lifeboats joined the search.

Rescue 175 returned to base to refuel and shortly after returning just before 4am located the craft off Brighton with both men on board.

The Brighton lifeboat proceeded to the position and came alongside the vessel. The pair were ok apart from being wet and cold and said they had run out of fuel and tried paddling ashore.

The casualties were taken aboard the Shoreham all weather lifeboat and taken back to Shoreham lifeboat station and checked over. Brighton lifeboat took their vessel to safety. All other units were stood down to return to station.

Shoreham lifeboat second coxswain Simon Tugwell said: “This was an intensive major air and sea search involving five lifeboats, the coastguard helicopter and coastguard teams. The men were extremely lucky that they were spotted by the helicopter and thanks to all the efforts of those involved this turned out to be a positive outcome.”

The all weather lifeboat searching through the night

RNLI/Michelle Tugwell

The all weather lifeboat searching through the night

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 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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