Littlehampton RNLI rescue man from sinking kayak

Lifeboats News Release

The volunteer crews at Littlehampton lifeboat station began the working week with a pager alert to assist a person in the water approximately half a mile south of Middleton-on-Sea.

Littlehampton's B-Class lifeboat Renee Sherman was used in the rescue (stock photo).

RNLI/Anthony Fogg

Littlehampton's B-Class lifeboat Renee Sherman was used in the rescue (stock photo).

On Monday 11 July, just after 8am, HM Coastguard requested the launching of a lifeboat following a call from a kayaker in distress. Littlehampton’s B-Class inshore lifeboat Renee Sherman was launched and headed south-west out of the harbour entrance. The sea conditions were smooth with only a slight cross shore breeze from the east, accompanied by excellent visibility.

When the lifeboat arrived on the scene they discovered the kayak almost fully submerged in the water with the male occupant still on board. He was helped in to the lifeboat, but was cold and shaken by the ordeal having spent approximately 30 minutes in the water. Littlehampton Coastguard Rescue team had also been alerted so the casualty was taken to the shoreline near Sea Lane in Middleton-on-Sea and passed in to their care. The kayak was also recovered and returned to the beach.

Richard Winstanley, lifeboat Helm for this incident, said:

‘Although the sea conditions were calm and the air temperature warm a pleasant morning trip turned for the worse as water ingress caused the kayak to sink below the waterline. The kayaker was well prepared wearing a buoyancy aid, spray top and wet suit and as soon as he recognised he could not get back to shore he called 999 and alerted the Coastguard. This forward planning, which included having a mobile phone in a waterproof pouch, and quick thinking ensured a successful outcome and all our crew were delighted to play their part in bringing the casualty to safety.’

The RNLI has safety tips for kayaking information online at:


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Anthony Fogg, Deputy Lifeboat Press Officer, Littlehampton RNLI 07823 509032 [email protected]

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