Broken down boat had no way to signal

Shoreham's inshore lifeboat
Shoreham's inshore lifeboat

THREE people on board a fishing boat with no lifejackets, radio or phones had to be rescued by Shoreham’s inshore lifeboat when the vessel lost its propeller.

The group had set out from Shoreham Beach at 3am on Good Friday but the boat later lost its propeller and ended up drifting in Shoreham Harbour.

The coastguard was alerted to their position, 2km south of Shoreham Harbour, and the inshore lifeboat was launched from Kingston Beach at 7.35am.

But when the inshore lifeboat searched the area, the crew found no trace of the 16ft vessel.

Eventually, the boat was found several miles south west of the harbour. A tow line was set up and she was towed back into the harbour.

The boat had no means to attract attention.

The RNLI sea safety advice states: “Even in crowded waters and close to the shore, a life-threatening incident might go unnoticed. The ability to call for help or signal for assistance is imperative.

“The water can be extremely unpredictable. It is vital to wear a lifejacket or buoyancy aid. The RNLI believes that lifejackets save lives and are useless unless worn.

“Many of the incidents to which the RNLI is called are due to, or exacerbated by, inexperience and lack of training.

“As boating and other watersports have grown in popularity, we have seen a lowering in the average level of knowledge among those who go to sea for fun. It is important that newcomers realise that they are entering an unfamiliar environment and that they need to get the appropriate level of training to allow them to fully enjoy the pleasures and challenges of their sport.”