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Littlehampton and Selsey RNLI work with coastguard in joint search

Lifeboats News Release

The Police received a telephone call from a member of the public at 6.55pm on Thursday 28 July, reporting that a windsurfer had gone missing just off the coast at Bognor Regis.

The police contacted the Coastguard, who then requested assistance from Littlehampton RNLI lifeboat crew.

Littlehampton RNLI’s Atlantic 85 lifeboat, Renée Sherman, and volunteer crew were already out at sea undergoing training exercises. The lifeboat headed out to an updated location near Felpham, one mile from the original position and commenced the search.

At 7.25pm, helmsman Andy Harris requested further assistance and Selsey RNLI launched their Tamar class All-Weather Lifeboat, Voluntary Worker, and extended the search area to one mile off shore.

At 8.02pm Selsey RNLI launched their D Class inshore lifeboat (ILB), Betty and Thomas Moore, to search nearer the shore line between Bognor and Selsey. At the same time Littlehampton RNLI’s D class lifeboat Ray of Hope, and volunteer crew launched to carry out a search along the shore line between Littlehampton and Bognor, followed by a second search one hundred metres from the shore back towards Littlehampton.

A coastguard helicopter arrived at the scene at 8.58pm to help with the search.

Following contact between the agencies involved it was established that the searches had revealed that the report of a windsurfer missing in the sea was not verified. Therefore, all units were stood down and returned to their respective stations.

A spokesman for the RNLI commented: 'Although the mission turned out to be a false alarm with good intent, it was also a great display of joint working between Littlehampton and Selsey RNLI crews, coastguard search teams on the ground and the coastguard rescue helicopter crew.'

RNLI media contacts

• Ray Pye, Littlehampton RNLI Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer / 07854 074688, email
• Tim Ash, RNLI Public Relations Manager (London/East/South East) on 0207 6207426, 07785 296252
• Sophie Coller-Nielsen Press Officer (London/East/South East), 0207 6207416, 07824 416615 email
• For enquiries outside normal business hours, contact the RNLI duty press officer on 01202 336789

Key facts about the RNLI

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution is the charity that saves lives at sea. Our volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service in the United Kingdom and Ireland from 238 lifeboat stations, including four along the River Thames and inland lifeboat stations at Loch Ness, Lough Derg, Enniskillen, Carrybridge and Lough Ree. Additionally the RNLI has more than 1,000 lifeguards on over 240 beaches around the UK and operates a specialist flood rescue team, which can respond anywhere across the UK and Ireland when inland flooding puts lives at risk.

The RNLI relies on public donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. As a charity it is separate from, but works alongside, government-controlled and funded coastguard services. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824 our lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved at least 140,000 lives. Volunteers make up 95% of the charity, including 4,600 volunteer lifeboat crew members and 3,000 volunteer shore crew. Additionally, tens of thousands of other dedicated volunteers raise funds and awareness, give safety advice, and help in our museums, shops and offices.

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Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries

Members of the public may contact the RNLI on 0300 300 9990 or by email.


The RNLI is a charity registered in England and Wales (209603) and Scotland (SC037736). Charity number 20003326 in the Republic of Ireland