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Four shouts in one day for new crew member at Brighton RNLI

Lifeboats News Release

The volunteer crew at Brighton RNLI had a busy Friday (7/7) after being tasked to four call outs.

Picture of crew taken after Chris's first shout


L-R Mat Humphrey, Chris Townley and George Kakas taken after Chris's first shout

New crew member Christopher Townley took part in his first shout at 4:10pm to reports of a female in the water near the West Pier.

The woman was escorted to the beach and passed into the care of the emergency services.

A few hours later at 6:39pm the crew received another call out to a male in the water between the Palace Pier and Hove Lawns. A shoreline search was conducted but nothing was found.

Then at 9:20pm two men were reported to be in the water west of the Marina, having got into trouble while using an inflatable dinghy, they were attempting to swim to shore.

The crew reunited them with friends on the beach.

Finally, at 9:42pm there were reports of a person in the water near the Brighton centre, the crew were able to bring the male back to safety.

Chris, who is a law professor at King's College London, was on all four shouts. He said: ‘When the first shout came in, my training took over and I just got to the station as quickly as possible.

‘It was really empowering to be part of such a professional team with everyone playing to their different strengths on each of the shouts during the evening.

‘Everything moves so quickly once that pager goes off but when I could reflect the following day, I was proud to have played a part in such a big variety of shouts.

‘After the second shout my partner had just made me some cheese on toast when the pager went again so I was straight back out the door.

‘I didn’t expect my second, third and fourth shouts to follow so closely behind in the same evening – but that is the nature of being part of the RNLI crew, you have to be prepared at all times.’

Ben Hylands was the helm on the final two shouts and part of the crew on the second shout. He said: ‘For Chris and the whole crew to be attending four consecutive shouts keeping them busy for nearly eight hours is very demanding.

‘I am proud of the team and how we tackled each tasking with professionalism, putting our training into practice.

‘We had to act quickly and use our specialist search and rescue training, particularly on the third shout to find the two people in danger in the water over 200m out.

‘Their friends did the right thing calling 999 – and I’d like to take this opportunity to remind everyone that if you do see someone in danger in the water that is the correct action to take.’

Crew member Mat Humphrey was also on all four shouts and helm on the first two. He added: ‘With schools breaking up in the next few weeks and the weather warming up we do expect to see more call outs.

‘We want to remind people to stay safe to always tell someone their plans if they enter the water when enjoying the 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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