Just after 3pm on May 8, crews launched Renee Sherman, the station’s B-Class inshore lifeboat.
They found the 9.5m long fishing boat around two miles offshore, south of Littlehampton East beach.
It had suffered an apparent gearbox failure rendering it unable to move under its own power. The skipper had anchored to prevent his boat drifting and then attempted to obtain assistance from other vessels. As none were available and he was becoming concerned for the welfare of two minors on board who were showing signs of sea sickness, HM Coastguard asked the RNLI to assist. When the lifeboat arrived its crew found the three occupants did not need medical attention. The boat was towed back 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.”