Lifeboats search off Rustington coast for possible casualty

Lifeboats searched the coast off Rustington after reports of a possible casualty

Littlehampton RNLI Lifeboat Station said two lifeboats conducted an extensive search in the area yesterday evening (August 7), following reports of a kite seen without a kiteboarder.

A spokesman said: “The volunteer crew were tasked by HM Coastguard at 8.29pm to search for a possible casualty in the water after a member of the public reported they had seen the kite about a mile off the coast of Rustington.

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“The crew of Littlehampton RNLI’s Renee Sherman lifeboat headed to the area and started a search in an easterly direction from Rustington to Kingston Gorse.”

Littlehampton RNLI’s two lifeboats return to the lifeboat station after the search. Credit: RNLI/Beth Brooks

An hour later, with darkness falling and winds strengthening to force 6 (22-27 knots), Littlehampton RNLI’s Ray of Hope lifeboat was launched to join a widened search area stretching east to Worthing Sailing Club.

At 10.20pm, Renee Sherman returned to the lifeboat station for a crew change, but at 10.40pm, both lifeboats were stood down after HM Coastguard concluded that the area had been comprehensively searched, the spokesman added. The crew of Renee Sherman returned to the area to escort Ray of Hope back to the lifeboat station, with both boats arriving at 11.25pm.

Nick White, Littlehampton RNLI’s Lifeboat Operations Manager, said: “This was a long search in worsening conditions for our crew, but we are always ready to save lives at sea. Please remember, if you see someone in difficulties at sea, or – just like the member of the public did tonight – see something you don’t think is right, please call 999 and ask for the Coastguard.”