Brighton RNLI rescue man who fell from western breakwater at Brighton Marina

Lifeboats News Release

Brighton RNLI rescued a man who had fallen into the sea and was struggling.


Brighton RNLI

The volunteer crew was paged at 5.05am on Thursday after the fisherman had fallen off the western breakwater at Brighton Marina.

The crew picked up the casualty on a shelf by the breakwater, checked him for injuries, and then returned to the boathouse.

Lifeboats Operations Manager Roger Cohen MBE commended the man’s friends, who had thrown a life ring and called 999 for help.

He said: 'In situations like this, it is tempting to enter water to aid someone.

'The correct action is to alert the emergency services, encourage them to stay calm and find a rescue aid to assist them.'

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The rescue comes as the RNLI is reminding people to #FloatToLive.

There were 277 deaths in the UK from accidental drownings last year across inland and coastal locations, and 40% of people who lost their lives had no intention of entering the water in the first place, with slips, trips, and falls, being cut off by the tide, or swept in by waves being the most significant problems.

People are asked to ‘Float to Live’ if they get into trouble in the water. This means leaning back and spreading your arms and legs to stay afloat, controlling your breathing, and then calling for help or swimming to safety. In a coastal emergency, call 999 or 112 for the Coastguard or the fire and rescue service if you are inland.

Gabbi Batchelor, RNLI Water Safety Education Manager in the South East, said: ‘With another heatwave forecast for this weekend, we want to remind everyone to stay safe when visiting the coast.

‘With so many people enjoying the water this summer, it is important that we all know the risks. Even with the temperatures soaring, the fact is that the water is still cold.

‘The sea temperature around the UK and Ireland rarely gets above 15 degrees Celsius, so the risk of cold water shock significantly increases as air temperatures rise. The effects of cold water shock are serious. It causes you to breathe in the water, weakens your muscles, and immediately affects your heart.

‘If you get into trouble in the water, Float to Live. Lean back, using your arms and legs to stay afloat. Control your breathing, then call for help or swim to safety. In an emergency, call 999 or 112 for the Coastguard or the fire and rescue service if you are inland.’

RNLI/Eddie Mitchell

Float To Live campaign on Hove beach

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.