With the hottest weekend of the year tempting dozens out on the water, it became a busy weekend for for the volunteer crews from Littlehampton RNLI.
At 6.21pm on Saturday 30 April, Littlehampton RNLI’s Atlantic 75 Blue Peter 1 lifeboat and volunteer crew launched in response to a call from the coastguard to assist a vessel with three people on board. The vessel had suffered engine failure and was drifting just outside the harbour entrance.
At 7.00pm, whilst still on service, a VHF call was received from another stricken vessel with one person on board. This vessel had also suffered engine had failure and was drifting one hundred yards south of the harbour entrance. Blue Peter 1 diverted to the scene to offer assistance.
On Sunday morning 1 May, both lifeboats had launched for routine training. Whilst out on exercise the volunteer crew members noticed a small sailing cruiser that had run aground onto the beach, east of the harbour entrance.
The cruiser had two adults (one male and one female), a teenager and two dogs on board and had suffered engine failure. With the tide going out, the boat had run out of time to get the engine started before going aground. The crew of the D Class quickly stepped in and layed an anchor in preparation for the incoming tide, whilst the Atlantic 75 stood by in deeper water in the harbour ready to rig tow lines if needed. A decision was made to transfer the female adult, the teenager and one of the dogs from the vessel to the shore, leaving the male adult and one dog on board. Once this had been done both lifeboats returned to their training session.
The fourth call was received at 4.16pm on Sunday following a call from Littlehampton Angling Club to the coastguard reporting that a small leisure vessel with two adults on board had broken down just outside the harbour entrance. Again the stations Atlantic 75 Blue Peter 1 lifeboat and volunteer crew launched and headed out to the casualty.
In each instance the lifeboat crews rigged tow lines to the vessels and towed them back to their individual moorings at Littlehampton Yacht Club and Littlehampton Motor Sailing Club, where they were all safely secured. The lifeboats returned to the station and were refuelled and made ready for service.”