Lifeboat called to yacht's aid

A volunteer lifeboat crew was called to the aid of a '˜struggling' yacht last night.

Shortly before 7pm, police received a 999 call from a member of the public, who happened to be a sailor, reporting that a yacht appeared to be struggling in blustery conditions and was failing to progress against the strong wind.

Littlehampton RNLI’s Atlantic 85 lifeboat, Renée Sherman, was launched shortly after, and headed out to the reported location, half a mile off Rustington beach.

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Lifeboat spokesman Ray Pye said the yacht’s crew stated they were fine and prepared to continue their journey back to Littlehampton yacht club. He added: “Due to the ebbing tide and the possible risk that the yacht could have difficulty entering the harbour, the lifeboat crew decided to stand by and escort the yacht back to its mooring in case they experienced any further difficulty.

“Once inside the river the yacht started to struggle against the strong river current and was taken under tow by the lifeboat. On arrival at the Yacht Club the tow was released and the casualty was safely moored. The lifeboat returned to the station at 8pm where it was refuelled and made ready for service.”

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