View as PDF

Early morning call out for Bembridge Lifeboat on Christmas Eve

Lifeboats News Release

Bembridge RNLI's all-weather Tamar lifeboat 'Alfred Albert Williams' was launched at the request of UK Coastguard at 4:50am this morning (Sunday 24 December) to search for a missing person who had been spotted entering the sea by Sandown Pier and disappearing.

RNLI/Mike Samuelson

Track of RNLB Alfred Albert Williams on 24 December 2017

The Alfred Albert Williams assisted the Sandown & Shanklin Independent Lifeboat, the Coastguard Helicopter Rescue 163 (and subsequently Rescue 175) and local Coastguard teams in the operation to try and find the missing person.

After an extensive search in quite lumpy conditions (West South Westerly winds and Force 4) but with no sign of the casualty, the Alfred Albert Williams was stood down at 8.20am. She returned to Bembridge and was recovered by 8.45am.

John Keyworth, Lifeboat Operations Manager said: 'It was a strange start to the Christmas break but this sort of situation is what we are here for'.

RNLI media contacts

· Mike Samuelson, Bembridge RNLI volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer, on 07785 593254 or

· Paul Dunt, RNLI Press Officer London/East/South East) on 0207 6207416, 07786 668825

· 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.

Learn more about the RNLI

For more information please visit the RNLI website or Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. News releases, videos and photos are available on the News Centre.

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