Littlehampton RNLI (Royal National Lifeboat Institution) volunteers had a hectic day as they responded to a series of distress calls, demonstrating their unwavering commitment to saving lives at sea.
The first task came at 2:36 pm when HM Coastguard alerted the crew about three windsurfers who were struggling to return to shore, approximately one mile south of the entrance to Littlehampton Harbour. The Renee Sherman lifeboat was swiftly launched, and an extensive search was conducted from Littlehampton Harbour to Ferring. Although the crew spoke to several individuals matching the description provided by HM Coastguard, all were found to be safe and well. Consequently, the lifeboat was stood down, returning to Littlehampton RNLI Lifeboat Station at 4:30 pm.
Shortly after, another call came in around 20 minutes later. Reports indicated that a dog was in the sea at Ferring, and several people had entered the water to assist. However, just as the Renee Sherman lifeboat was being launched down the slipway, the crew was stood down, as the situation resolved itself.
Undeterred, the crew received their third call of the day at 5:52 pm from HM Coastguard. This time, they were informed about a board user experiencing difficulties returning to shore near Worthing and seeking refuge by attaching themselves to a marker buoy. Upon arrival at the reported location, the lifeboat crew discovered no one in distress. Undertaking a meticulous search of the area, the volunteers ensured no individual was overlooked. Eventually, they were stood down by HM Coastguard and returned to Littlehampton RNLI Lifeboat Station at 9:20 pm.
Meanwhile, as the crew continued their search efforts, they monitored a distress signal from an eight-meter trimaran that had lost engine power. HM Coastguard had already requested assistance from nearby vessels, and subsequently, Littlehampton RNLI was called into action for the fourth time that day. The dedicated crew refueled the Renee Sherman lifeboat and swiftly reached the distressed trimaran at 9:48 pm, located five miles southwest of the entrance to Littlehampton Harbour. Assessing the situation, the crew decided to tow the vessel to the safety of Littlehampton Harbour, successfully mooring it at Arun Yacht Club by 11:20 pm.
Nick White, Littlehampton RNLI Lifeboat Station’s Lifeboat Operations
Manager and Launch Authority for the incidents, said: ‘Beautiful
weather and a brisk offshore breeze led to a busy day for our
volunteer crew. It’s easier than you think to get into trouble in the
water, so we would always urge people – whatever their planned
activity – to be aware of the dangers. Our top safety tips are to know
your limits and don’t take risks; go with others and look out for each
other; and make sure your phone is charged so you can call for help if
you come across anyone who needs it.’
For more safety tips to keep you and your loved ones safe at the coast
and in the water, see www.rnli.org/safety
*Please note: While Littlehampton RNLI were conducting this search,
the emergency services were attending another incident on Worthing
seafront. This was a separate incident.