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24 May 2010, 15:00
A busy day again for the crew of the Littlehampton lifeboat station clocking a massive five shouts on this glorious summer’s day.
The first call came through at around 10:25 to assist a 6m motor boat, with five people aboard, off Aldwick. The vessel was having some electrical problems, so with no power was drifting towards the shore line.
The Atlantic 75 and the D-Class were already in the water taking part in training exercises so were both on scene very quickly. The casualty vessel had by then come to rest on the beach. Crewmen Liam Clarke and Keith Booth jumped from the Atlantic 75 and waded over to attach a tow line. Once secured, two of the motor boat crew were transferred to the D-Class and two onto the Atlantic 75, leaving the owner of the vessel aboard to steer. The lifeboats then proceeded to tow the vessel back to Littlehampton and moor them safely at the marina.
At 13:00 having finished the training exercise the boats were washed down, packed up and refuelled. Some of the crew had started to drift away to carry on with their weekend when Solent Coastguard requested they launch the Spirit of Juniper, the station’s D-Class lifeboat to assist a 7.7m yacht that had run aground on the bar at the mouth of the river Arun.
Keith Booth and Liam Clarke who had both attended the earlier shout were joined on board the D-class lifeboat by Laura Robinson. With no real problems other than being stuck till the tide rose, the casualty vessel requested the crew deploy an anchor for them so they could sit it out.
Once everything was secured the crew came back to the Littlehampton lifeboat station, refuelled and by 13:45 were ready for service.
The next shout came at 16:57 after a 999 call was made to report a three year old girl missing. She had last been seen playing on east beach near the river and the foreshore office.
Both boats were launched with Gavin Simmons, Liam Clarke and Ian Tebb on the Atlantic and Keith Booth, Andy Hicks and Rob Devo on the D-class. After searching for almost fifteen minutes the crew were radioed to stand down as the child had been located. She and a friend had managed to get all the way down to the east beach café before they were spotted.
The lifeboats were back, washed down and ready for service by 17:45.
Their next launch was at 18:48, Andy Harris, Rob Devo and Josh Gruber aboard the Atlantic went to assist a 7m yacht that had broken down two miles south of Middleton. The boys towed the casualty vessel back into Littlehampton and moored it on the town Quay. They were back, refuelled and ready for service by 20:00.
At 20:20 Littlehampton lifeboats launched their Atlantic 75, Blue Peter 1 again with Keith Booth, Andy Hicks and Josh Gruber. The coastguard had received a 999 call reporting a swimmer in distress 7 miles west of the harbour. They located the casualty swiftly and offered him assistance, but none was needed for the man having his regular evening swim.
Andy Harris said “He seemed a little surprised to see us, apparently he quite frequently has late swims and had no idea what the fuss what about”.