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Littlehampton RNLI rescue three persons stranded two miles offshore

Image Credit: RNLI

HM Coastguard tasked the volunteer crews of Littlehampton lifeboat station to attend a vessel that had suffered a mechanical failure off the West Sussex coast.

Just after 3pm last weekend the lifeboat charity’s crews were paged and launched Renee Sherman, the station’s B-Class inshore lifeboat. Heading south out of the harbour entrance the sea conditions were slight with a gentle southerly breeze and it was a bright day with good visibility. They soon encountered a 9.5m long fishing boat approximately two miles offshore, south of Littlehampton East beach.

The vessel had suffered an apparent gearbox failure rendering it unable to move under its own power. The skipper had anchored in order to prevent his boat drifting and then attempted to obtain assistance from other vessels that may have been in the area. However, none were available and he was becoming concerned for the welfare of two minors on board who were showing signs of sea sickness so HM Coastguard tasked the RNLI to assist.

When the lifeboat arrived on the scene its crew quickly ascertained that the three occupants of the stranded vessel were not in need of any medical attention. A tow was then established returning the casualty vessel to its mooring at 4.35pm.

Nick White, Lifeboat Operations Manager at Littlehampton and Deputy Launch Authority for this incident, said:

‘Even a well prepared vessel can suffer a mechanical failure and in such situations reaching out for assistance may be required. Being aware of the wellbeing of persons on board a vessel that is in difficulty is important as the uncertainty of the situation may cause anxiety, there is a risk of exposure to the elements and sea sickness can develop. Sea sickness is potentially a very serious condition. Our crews did an excellent job of bringing the casualty vessel and its occupants to safe harbour.’

Further details on why sea sickness occurs and ways to deal with it are available on the RNLI website at:


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