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RNLI Responds to Mayday as Vessel Sinks Near Worthing

RNLI and local fishermen work together to retrieve individuals from sinking boat.

On Sunday, April 21, Littlehampton RNLI lifeboat crews, fresh from a training exercise, responded to a Mayday call about a vessel sinking approximately 4 miles south of Worthing. The incident occurred shortly after the crews of Littlehampton’s B-class lifeboat “Renee Sherman” and a Tamar class lifeboat from Shoreham RNLI had met at sea for a joint exercise under challenging conditions with choppy seas and strong force 4 north-easterly winds.

Three Safe After Boat Sinks in Choppy Waters Off Worthing Coast
Photo – RNLI

At 11:40 AM, both lifeboats were dispatched to the reported location by HM Coastguard. Upon arrival, they found only the bow of a small motor vessel visible above the water. Three individuals who had been on the boat were already rescued by a nearby fishing boat. One of the individuals, suffering from the cold and a minor injury, was transferred to the Littlehampton lifeboat and then onto the Shoreham vessel for warmth and shelter.

The rescued parties were taken to Littlehampton, with the Shoreham lifeboat docking at Town Quay and the Littlehampton boat returning to its station. The individual with the minor injury received care at the lifeboat station and was assessed by paramedics who determined no further medical treatment was necessary. The fishing vessel involved successfully returned the other two individuals to Brighton Marina.

Nick White, Lifeboat Operations Manager at Littlehampton, remarked on the incident, highlighting the perilous sea conditions that small boats face, particularly during this time of year with the nearshore sea temperature around 10°C. He expressed gratitude to the vessels nearby that swiftly intervened to rescue the casualties before the RNLI’s arrival, noting that the casualty vessel had sunk rapidly.

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