On Air Now

Ian Crouch

3:00pm - 7:00pm

Now Playing

Pet Shop Boys

It's A Sin

10 facts about Littlehampton RNLI Lifeboat Station

As the volunteer crew of Littlehampton RNLI gear up for what is expected to be another busy summer season, here’s 10 facts you may not know about Littlehampton RNLI Lifeboat Station.

1) Littlehampton RNLI Lifeboat Station – in Fisherman’s Quay, Littlehampton Harbour – is one of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution’s 238 lifeboat stations that operate around the UK and Ireland. The volunteer crew at Littlehampton RNLI provide a 24-hour search and rescue service for those who require help in local waters.

2) Littlehampton RNLI is manned entirely by volunteers. The 50-strong team is made up of men and women from the local community who crew the lifeboats, liaise with the Coastguard, launch the boats, prepare the boats for service, fundraise, run the lifeboat station’s shop, and give guided tours to the public and school groups.

3) Littlehampton RNLI’s volunteer crew look after the stretch of the West Sussex coast between Bognor Regis and Worthing. If a member of the public calls the Coastguard and reports an incident in this area, the Coastguard will task Littlehampton RNLI to help. Whatever time of day or night, the crew are paged. They will immediately drop everything to race to Littlehampton RNLI Lifeboat Station, launch the lifeboats and save lives at sea.

4) Littlehampton has a long and very special relationship with the RNLI. There has been a lifeboat station in the town since the late 19th century. The current lifeboat station was built in 2002. Littlehampton boatbuilder, William Osborne, was a major builder for the RNLI, building 100 lifeboats, and fitting out and maintaining countless others.

5) In 1967, Littlehampton RNLI Lifeboat Station famously became home to Blue Peter I, a lifeboat funded by viewers of the BBC children’s programme Blue Peter, following a high-profile fundraising appeal. A succession of lifeboats with the same name saved lives at sea at Littlehampton RNLI for 49 years, until the name was retired in 2016.

6) Today, Littlehampton RNLI is home to two inshore lifeboats. Renee Sherman is a B Class Atlantic 85 lifeboat and Ray of Hope is a D Class lifeboat.

7) Both Renee Sherman and Ray of Hope are regularly called into action. The volunteer crew of Littlehampton RNLI respond to between 50 and 70 ‘shouts’ a year. In 2022, they have been tasked 18 times so far*.

8) The volunteer crew of Littlehampton RNLI train extensively every Thursday and Sunday. Depending on tides, training will involve either lifeboat exercises at sea or in Littlehampton Harbour, or shore training.

9) Littlehampton RNLI is open to visitors. The lifeboat station is open most days between 10am and 4pm and gives visitors the chance to see Renee Sherman and Ray of Hope up close, to visit the crew room, and to find out more about the RNLI. Pre-arranged group visits are also welcome.

10) Littlehampton RNLI Lifeboat Station also has its own shop. Help save lives at sea by buying a gift for a loved one or treating yourself from our extensive range of RNLI and coastal-themed merchandise. All sales help fund our vital work. We also sell a selection of preloved paperback books and jigsaws.

More from West Sussex

Recently Played