Littlehampton RNLI prepares for busy 2021
The volunteer crew of Littlehampton RNLI Lifeboat Station are used to facing the storm, and the coronavirus pandemic and lockdown restrictions in 2020 did not stop them from saving lives at sea.
Although the lifeboat station and shop were forced to close to visitors in 2020, the crew were busier than ever responding to shouts and assisting those in trouble on local waters. Extra precautions were put in place to ensure the safety of both casualties and crew, including strict social distancing, face coverings and gloves.
Littlehampton RNLI is run entirely by a 50-strong volunteer team made up of men and women from all walks of life who crew the lifeboats, liaise with the Coastguard, launch the boats, prepare the boats for service, spread the word about our work, fundraise, run the shop and give guided tours to the public and school groups. They protect those in need of help on an 11-mile stretch of the Channel between Bognor Regis and Worthing. The entire team is on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week. When their pager goes off, they drop everything to help a member of their local community facing trouble at sea.
During 2020, Littlehampton RNLI responded to 61 shouts. These included coming to the aid of Robbie, an eight-year-old whippet who accidentally fell into the River Arun; assisting a kayaker in difficulties; preventing a yacht from grounding on Goring beach; and towing a demasted yacht safely back to Littlehampton Harbour.
This lifesaving work would not be possible without the continued generosity and support of the public. In May, to boost community spirit and to raise funds for vital crew equipment, Littlehampton RNLI held a quiz live on Facebook. The quiz included three rounds of general knowledge and bonus lifeboat questions, and raised more than £250.
Nick White, Littlehampton RNLI Lifeboat Station’s Lifeboat Operations Manager, said: ‘Despite the many difficulties we had to weather in 2020, we responded to our pagers and have remained on-call 24/7. We are independent of the Coastguard and government and depend on voluntary donations to maintain our rescue service. We have already had one shout in 2021 and are proud to serve our community by saving lives at sea.’To find out more about Littlehampton RNLI, see: https://rnli.org/find-my-nearest/lifeboat-stations/littlehampton-lifeboat-station
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.