Littlehampton RNLI evacuates man in need of medical help

Lifeboats News Release

The volunteer crew of Littlehampton RNLI rescued a male casualty in need of urgent medical help from a fishing boat with engine failure yesterday afternoon (30 June).

RNLI/Beth Brooks

Renee Sherman afloat in Littlehampton Harbour

The crew were tasked by HM Coastguard at 1.13pm to assist the casualty, who was in a fishing boat near Kingmere Rocks, off the coast of Littlehampton, with his son. The casualty was diabetic and recovering from a recent heart attack. He needed to return to shore urgently to take his medication as he was feeling unwell.

Arriving at the scene at 1.37pm on Litttlehampton RNLI Lifeboat Station’s Renee Sherman lifeboat, Littlehampton RNLI helm, Ivan Greer, assessed the situation. Noting that the fishing boat was safely anchored, he decided that the best course of action was to transport the casualty to Littlehampton Harbour as quickly as possible.

The casualty boarded Renee Sherman and taken to Littlehampton Harbour where the lifeboat was met by a member of Littlehampton RNLI’s shore crew. Thanks to the assistance of Littlehampton Ferry, the casualty and shore crew member were then escorted to Littlehampton Marina, where the casualty took his medication and immediately felt better.

In the meantime, the crew of Renee Sherman returned to the fishing boat. As the boat had an electrical fault and its engine would not start, Greer decided that undertaking a tow was necessary and the safest way to assist the boat’s remaining occupant. The boat was towed back to the nearest safe and suitable port – Littlehampton Harbour – arriving at 3.48pm.

Jon Prater, Deputy Launching Authority at Littlehampton RNLI, said: ‘Everyone at Littlehampton RNLI is very pleased we were able to be of service today, and are delighted that the casualty is feeling better. We 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 our pagers go off, we drop everything to help a member of our local community facing trouble at sea.’

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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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