Could you help Littlehampton RNLI save lives at sea?

Lifeboats News Release

Littlehampton RNLI is looking for someone from the local community to fill a crucial volunteer role.

Littlehampton RNLI Lifeboat Station at sunset

RNLI/Beth Brooks

Littlehampton RNLI Lifeboat Station at sunset

The busy lifeboat station, which is entirely run by volunteers, is looking for an additional Deputy Launching Authority to take responsibility for authorising the launch of their two lifeboats when needed. The role is an appointment that the RNLI considers very seriously. Ideally, applicants will have leisure or professional nautical experience, or an emergency services operational management background.

Jon Prater, a retired firefighter, has been a Deputy Launching Authority at Littlehampton RNLI for two-and-a-half years. He said: ‘I worked for London Fire Brigade for 30 years and worked my way up to the dizzy heights of Station Commander before retiring in 2010. After I retired in 2010, we moved down here. I had always been a staunch supporter of the RNLI and I would have loved to have volunteered for the boats, but I was too old. One day, I got chatting with Nick and we talked about the RNLI and how I could get involved. Following an interview, I said I would give it a go.

‘Apart from meeting and working with a great bunch of people who all think the same about helping and supporting people in difficulty, I find the job immensely rewarding. As someone who loves going out sailing, there is the constant reassurance that the lifeboat is there if things went horribly wrong. It is good to be able to give something back, engage and, in some way, help the community.’

Nick White, Littlehampton RNLI’s Lifeboat Operations Manager, added: ‘We need someone who is able to commit to a couple of rota periods per week, and who still has credit on the age limit of 70. Most of the time we won’t be needed, but when we are, it’s an instant need, so home or work proximity to the lifeboat station is important. If you think this could be for you, please email and tell us a little about you and your experience, at [email protected] or apply at’

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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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.