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Busy 24 hours for Littlehampton RNLI

Lifeboats News Release

During last weekend both Littlehampton’s lifeboats were involved in three separate incidents.

Both lifeboats heading out to sea

RNLI/Ray Pye (Library)

Both lifeboats heading out to sea

At 12.13pm on Saturday 23 June, Littlehampton RNLI’s Atlantic D Class Ray of Hope lifeboat and volunteer crew launched in response to a call from the UK Coastguard to assist a fishing vessel with three people on board. The skipper had made a VHF radio call, reporting engine failure due to a flat battery, stating they were four miles south of Littlehampton Harbour. Weather conditions were good with a force four wind. At the scene the lifeboat crew rigged a tow line to the casualty in readiness for its return to the Littlehampton Marina, where it was safely moored at 1.20pm. The lifeboat returned to the station.

During Saturday afternoon a second call from the UK Coastguard was received requesting a search and tow operation for a fishing vessel, reported to be three miles south of Elmer that had broken down and was drifting on the tide without any power. The stations Atlantic 85 Renée Sherman and volunteer crew launched at 2.58pm and headed out to sea. The lifeboat crew were initially unable to locate the casualty. Following further VHF radio contact with the UK Coastguard a revised location of two miles south of Littlehampton and Middleton was given. The casualty with two male adults on board was subsequently located by the lifeboat crew and a tow line was rigged up. The casualty was towed back to Littlehampton Town Quay, where it was safely moored. The lifeboat returned to the station at 5.00pm.

At 3.00pm on Sunday 24 June, whilst on training exercise, the crew of the stations Atlantic 85 Renée Sherman were alerted by one of the two males onboard a speed boat that had apparently suffered engine failure and was unable to get back to its moorings and was drifting at the entrance to the harbour. The lifeboat towed the casualty back into Littlehampton Harbour and then returned to the station at 15.25pm, where it was made ready for service.

A RNLI spokesman said, “If you are planning to go sailing/motor boating, please always wear a lifejacket or buoyancy aid, ensure everyone onboard knows how to call for help, get appropriate training and check your engine and fuel before every trip”

RNLI media contacts

  • Paul Dunt, Regional Media Officer (South East) on 0207 6207426, 07785 296252, 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 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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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