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Shoreham RNLI all weather lifeboat called to drifting cargo ship

Lifeboats News Release

The Shoreham all weather lifeboat was launched at 3am on Thursday 1 March to an 88m broken down cargo ship drifting towards the Rampion wind farm in the English Channel.

The ship with seven crew on board had suffered engine failure 14 miles off Shoreham. Once on scene at the cargo ship, the lifeboat dropped its anchor and the crew stood by for five hours in rough seas and freezing temperatures until a tugboat arrived from Bembridge on the Isle of Wight to take it under tow.

Once the tow had been secured, the tug started to tow the vessel to Southampton.

The lifeboat then left the scene and returned to station.

Lifeboat coxswain Steve Smith said: 'The conditions were freezing and the seas were rough with the high winds. We remained on scene until we were sure the tow was safely under way and all on board were ok.

'We returned to station with a frozen boat literally. Instead of being just wet it was covered in ice.'

Drifting cargo ship off Rampion wind farm

RNLI/Michelle Tugwell

Drifting cargo ship off Rampion wind farm

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The RNLI charity saves lives at sea. Its volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service around the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland coasts. The RNLI operates over 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and more than 240 lifeguard units on beaches around the UK and Channel Islands. The RNLI is independent of Coastguard and government and depends on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824, its lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved over 142,700 lives.

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