Selsey Lifeboat Station - Launches

3rd September 2021

Selsey RNLI Lifeboats Involved in Search off of Aldwick

Inflatable Inflatable

The UK Coastguard received a 999 call from a member of the public reporting an orange inflatable with a child on it drifting out to sea off of Aldwick.

The Selsey inshore Lifeboat (ILB) was launched at 12.23 p.m. and made best speed to Pagham beach. The ILB started searching when just off Pagham Sailing Club as the tidal drift would have taken the inflatable in that direction. After a short time, an inflatable was spotted by the ILB but with no one on it. The ILB continued searching whilst requesting the launch of the Selsey all-weather Lifeboat. The UK Coastguard increased the search assets to Selsey and Littlehampton Coastguard rescue teams, Selsey all-weather Lifeboat (ALB) and the Coastguard helicopter Rescue 175. The weather on scene was wind north-easterly force 1-2, sea state smooth in sunshine.

The Selsey ALB launched at 12.46 p.m. and was instructed to search from Pagham to Bognor half a mile offshore with the ILB between the ALB and the shore. During this the ILB crew saw a member of the public on the beach with some young girls franticly waving at the ILB and so they broke from the search to speak to them. The girls informed the crew that they were playing with an inflatable fish which drifted out to sea and that their parents told them not go after it. They also assured the ILB crew that at no time was anybody on it. This information was passed to the Coastguards. Whilst taking the details from the girls and their parents the ILB Helmsman explained the dangers of inflatables on the beach.

After the ALB and Rescue 175 had finished their initial search the UK Coastguard stood all assets down. The incident was recorded as false alarm with good intent. The inflatable fish had a fin which was probably mistaken for a small child from a distance. The Selsey ALB and ILB returned to station at 2.03 p.m. with the ILB recovered straight away and the ALB shortly afterwards.

ILB CREW: Sam Corcoran-Smith (Helmsman), James Albrey and Neil Hopcraft.

ALB CREW: Rob Archibald (Coxswain), Andy Lee (Mechanic), Colin Pullenger, Pip Skeet, Ian Ford and Tim Scott.