Uk Coastguard (Dover) requested that the Selsey RNLI All-Weather Lifeboat (ALB), 'Voluntary Worker', be launched to the assistance of the tug boat, 'General Six' with three crew aboard which had reported engine failure and also that they had been aground at one stage and suffered water ingress.
The 'General Six' had no radio, only mobile phones, and so the Coastguards had scrambled the Rescue Helicopter to locate the vessel which was believed to be close to Littlehampton Harbour and, after locating it, the Helicopter advised that a Lifeboat would be required. Because of the boat's weight, 50 tons, the Selsey volunteer crew were paged.
'Voluntary Worker' launched at 1.42 p.m. on Saturday 21st January and proceeded at best speed to the position given by the Helicopter which was 8 miles East of Selsey. At 2.07 p.m. the ALB was on scene with the 'General Six'. The weather on scene was wind easterly F3, sea state slight in good visibility. After confirming that the crew were all OK and that the water ingress was caused by breaking waves while the vessel was lying over during the grounding, the Helicopter was released and a line was passed to the vessel to establish a tow.
A course was set for Littlehampton Harbour and at 2.22 p.m. the tow commenced. Due to the weight of the 'General Six' the Coxswain asked Littlehampton Lifeboat to launch to assist with entering the harbour. Before entering the harbour two Lifeboat crewmembers were transferred to the 'General Six' to assist berthing. At 3.18 p.m. the harbour entrance was reached and the 'General Six' was safely berthed alongside in Littlehampton Harbour at 3.50 p.m.
The Selsey ALB departed Littlehampton straight away to return to Selsey, arriving at 4.45 p.m. and rehousing straight away. The Lifeboat was washed down and refuelled by 5.30 p.m.
CREW: Colin Pullenger (Coxswain), Dave Lamdin (2nd Coxswain), Phil Pitham (Mechanic), Max Gilligan, Will Moir, Craig Sergeant and Pip Skeet.