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Littlehampton RNLI rescue three persons stranded two miles offshore

Lifeboats News Release

On the afternoon of Sunday 8 May HM Coastguard tasked the volunteer crews of Littlehampton lifeboat station to attend a vessel that had suffered a mechanical failure.

Crews eye view from the lifeboat as it headed to the stranded vessel 8 May


Crews eye view from the lifeboat as it headed to the stranded vessel 8 May

Just after 3pm the lifeboat charity’s crews were paged and launched Renee Sherman, the station’s B-Class inshore lifeboat. Heading south out of the harbour entrance the sea conditions were slight with a gentle southerly breeze and it was a bright day with good visibility. They soon encountered a 9.5m long fishing boat approximately two miles offshore, south of Littlehampton East beach. The vessel had suffered an apparent gearbox failure rendering it unable to move under its own power. The skipper had anchored in order to prevent his boat drifting and then attempted to obtain assistance from other vessels that may have been in the area. However, none were available and he was becoming concerned for the welfare of two minors on board who were showing signs of sea sickness so HM Coastguard tasked the RNLI to assist. When the lifeboat arrived on the scene its crew quickly ascertained that the three occupants of the stranded vessel were not in need of any medical attention. A tow was then established returning the casualty vessel to its mooring at 4.35pm.

Nick White, Lifeboat Operations Manager at Littlehampton and Deputy Launch Authority for this incident, said:

‘Even a well prepared vessel can suffer a mechanical failure and in such situations reaching out for assistance may be required. Being aware of the wellbeing of persons on board a vessel that is in difficulty is important as the uncertainty of the situation may cause anxiety, there is a risk of exposure to the elements and sea sickness can develop. Sea sickness is potentially a very serious condition. Our crews did an excellent job of bringing the casualty vessel and its occupants to safe harbour.’

Further details on why sea sickness occurs and ways to deal with it are available on the RNLI website at:


RNLI media contacts

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

Paul Dunt, Regional Media Officer, London and South East 07785 296252 [email protected]

For enquiries outside normal business hours contact the RNLI duty press officer on 01202 336789

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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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