As the nation cheered Her Majesty the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations Littlehampton’s lifeboat crews had a shout themselves, to a rescue seven miles south of the harbour.
On Friday 3 June at 11.30am, following a request from HM Coastguard, the lifeboat charity’s volunteer crews were paged and soon launched Renee Sherman, the station’s B-Class inshore lifeboat. Heading south out of the harbour entrance the sea conditions were smooth with a gentle south-easterly breeze, accompanied by excellent visibility, allowing the lifeboat to make good progress to the casualty vessel. The 23 foot long fishing craft had suffered an engine failure rendering it unable to move under its own power.
When the lifeboat arrived on the scene its crew quickly ascertained that the three occupants of the stranded vessel were well and not in need of any medical attention. By midday a tow had been established, returning the casualty vessel to its mooring in Littlehampton harbour.
Michael Kelly, Deputy Launch Authority for this incident, said:
‘Although the sea conditions were good, mechanical failure can turn a pleasant day of fishing at sea in to a perilous situation. The casualty vessel was able to alert the Coastguard of their difficulties using a mobile phone, by calling 999 and asking for the Coastguard, and our volunteer crews were then able to assist. It is important to remember though that mobile coverage may be erratic offshore and having a working VHF radio with knowledge of how to use it in an emergency situation is recommended.’