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Littlehampton RNLI, UK Coastguard, Police and Fire & Rescue in two searches

Lifeboats News Release

Both searches happened on Tuesday evening 31 July following calls from UK Coastguard and the Police.

Library photograph - D Class - Ray of Hope

RNLI/Ray Pye (Library)

Library photograph - D Class - Ray of Hope

The first call was at 8:30pm reporting a person in the River Arun. The stations D Class lifeboat Ray of Hope and volunteer crew launched ten minutes later and headed up the river towards the reported location, near Tortington, Arundel. The search began along the river from Tortington to the A27 at Arundel. The Fire and Rescue Service tasked the lifeboat to search up to the old road bridge in Arundel. The casualty was located by the lifeboat crew on the west bank of the river by the old windmill and was escorted up the river bank to the A27 by a crew member and handed over to the Coastguard Rescue Team. The lifeboat was stood down and returned to the station at 9:40pm.

Whilst on the slipway having returned from the first incident the lifeboat and same crew were tasked by the UK Coastguard to the second incident following a Police report of someone shouting for help near Greatham Bridge on the River Arun. The lifeboat launched and set course at 9:56pm. In fading light, an extensive search was conducted fifteen miles upriver from the from the lifeboat station, along the river and river banks between Greatham and Timberley bridges. At 1:10am, it was agreed that the search should be called off as it had proved inconclusive. The lifeboat was stood down and returned to the station at 1:29am where it was refuelled and made ready for service.

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