Littlehampton lifeboat teams rescue stranded passengers after vessel sinks at sea

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Lifeboat teams from Littlehampton rescued stranded passengers from a sinking vessel over the weekend.

The call came through on Sunday April 21, in the minutes after a training session with their Shoreham counterparts. Racing to the scene, both teams found the upper part of the bow of a small motor vessel was just visible above the water. Luckily the three occupants had already been safely recovered by a nearby fishing boat.

One of the passengers was particularly cold, and had suffered a minor cut. As a result, they were the first to be transferred to the lifeboat, where warm shelter and proper care could be provided. Both boats headed to Littlehampton, with the Shoreham lifeboat mooring at Town Quay, and the Littlehampton boat returning to the station itself, where the casualty was cared for until paramedics arrived. The two other casualties were returned to Brighton Marina by the fishing vessel, The Coastguard later confirmed.

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Nick White, Lifeboat Operations Manager at Littlehampton lifeboat station, said: "Although a bright sunny day, cold northerly winds had resulted in choppy sea conditions and these can prove challenging for small boats. The seas nearshore at this time of year are still cold at around 10oC so ending up in the water unexpectedly can lead to cold water shock and hypothermia. Fortunately vessels were close by and able to recover the casualties from the water before the RNLI arrived on the scene and we thank them for responding as the casualty vessel sank in a matter of moments.”

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