After a quiet start to the year Littlehampton’s lifeboats were called out in the early hours of Saturday morning for the first two shouts of 2012.

The first came after a 999 call to the coastguard was made reporting a person seen entering the River Arun, close to the road bridge. ‘Blue Peter 1’ was launched at 02:35 with crewmen Andy Harris, Ollie Clark and Andy Hicks, who began a search of the area.

A second 999 call was made minutes later reporting a person seen in distress off Bognor Regis pier. Littlehampton’s ‘Spirit of Juniper’ was launched at 02:46 with crewmen Ross Bowman, Ollie Lamb and on his first shout, Richard Winstanley.

The decision was made to send the D-class lifeboat up river to take over the search and for the Atlantic 75 to go to Bognor Regis. However the shout was cancelled before lifeboat left the harbour as it was discovered that although the potential casualty was beyond the pier, due to low tide they were not actually in the water and could be reached from the shore.

The Littlehampton Atlantic 75 rejoined the D-Class up river and after a thorough search was stood down, both boats were refuelled and ready for service by 03:55.

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