Search and rescue for teenage boys in the sea near Rustington

A search and rescue operation was launched for two teenage boys who got into difficulty at sea near Rustington.

On Friday (July 10), two teenagers had been rowing a small inflatable near the beach in Rustington, but had got into difficulty and were now in the water, the Littlehampton RNLI said.

Following a request from HM Coastguard, the charity’s Renee Sherman lifeboat was launched at 6.09pm, but after an initial search failed to find the boys it was then confirmed that they had made it back to the beach.

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The casualties were cold and one appeared to have taken in seawater, so they were passed in to the care of ambulance crew who were called as a precaution, the RNLI said.

The Littlehampton RNLI had a busy spell

On Sunday (July 12), the volunteer crew of Renee Sherman headed east again at 3.23pm following a request from HM Coastguard.

A 20ft-long motor boat had lost power and put down its anchor near East Preston to prevent drifting, but the anchor was dragging and the wind was pushing the boat towards the shore.

Once on the scene the lifeboat crew set up a tow line to take the vessel out to deeper water as it was now only 100 metres from the beach and in danger of grounding.

The vessel and its three occupants were towed back to their mooring at Littlehampton Marina and Renee Sherman was cleaned and returned to the boathouse at 5pm, ready to save more lives at sea.

On the evening of Sunday, July 5, a small 8ft boat had made its way out of Littlehampton Harbour carrying four people, but strong winds and large waves threatened to overwhelm the boat after the homemade engine failed.

Three of the occupants made it to the beach east of the harbour entrance, but the boat was unable to make it back to the harbour and the RNLI was called out at 7.40pm.

The wind caused the boat to drift as far as the East Beach Cafe where the man and his boat were lifted on to the lifeboat and taken back to the safety of the harbour.

Nick White, lifeboat operations manager, said: “In apparently calm conditions small craft can struggle at sea, even within a few metres of the shore, and soon be overwhelmed by waves with occupants becoming cold, disorientated and in need of immediate help.

"Being aware of the risks before heading out on the water and knowing the load limits of your boat will reduce the chances of you needing to be rescued. If you see someone in distress at sea call 999 and ask for the Coastguard.”