Selsey Lifeboat Station - Launches

2nd May 2021

Selsey RNLI Lifeboats Join Search for Missing Swimmer

UK Coastguards requested the launch of the all-weather Lifeboat after receiving reports from the RNLI Lifeguards at Bognor that a swimmer was seen to enter the sea, swim out, but not return to the beach.

The all-weather Lifeboat (ALB) launched at 4.45 p.m. on Sunday 2nd May and made best speed to the area south of Bognor Pier to join Littlehampton Lifeboat and Coastguard units from Littlehampton and Shoreham in the search for the swimmer. The weather conditions on scene were wind west-south-west force 3-4, sea state moderate in sunshine. After conducting the initial search the ALB Coxswain requested that the Selsey inshore Lifeboat (ILB) was launched to search from Selsey to Pagham Yacht Club as the tidal flow at the time was towards Selsey.

The ILB launched at 4.36 p.m. and immediately started the search. After a comprehensive search, at 6.31 p.m. the ILB was stood down to return to station and the ALB continued with the search it was tasked with until the last leg was completed at 6.45 p.m.

At 6.46 p.m. the UK Coastguard retasked the ALB to locate a vessel, using the Lifeboat's Direction Finding Equipment, that had been blocking Channel 16, the Calling and Distress VHF channel, for 2-3 hours. All that could be heard on the channel was BBC Radio One and people talking.

The ALB headed towards the Looe Channel buoys and picked up a signal strong enough to get a fix on and headed down the track line. HMS Severn was asked by the Coastguard to try and locate the vessel. At 7.30 p.m. the Lifeboat believed it had found the target vessel and so HMS Severn continued with her exercise and the ALB eventually came alongside the yacht at 8.00 p.m. 11.3 miles south-south-west of Selsey Bill. The skipper was asked to check that his VHF radio was correctly stowed which resulted with Channel 16 now clear for distress calls and the ALB was released by the Coastguards. The ALB arrived back at Selsey at 8.39 p.m. and was recovered straight away.

ALB CREW: Rob Archibald (Coxswain), Colin Pullenger (2nd Coxswain), Jake Harnett (Mechanic), James Albrey, Craig Sergeant and Sam Corcoran-Smith.

ILB CREW: Will Moir (Helmsman), Max Wiseman, Harry Emmence and Tom Davidson (Trainee).

Marine traffic Marine traffic
Marine traffic