Windy weather leads to busy weekend for Shoreham lifeboats

Busy weekend for Shoreham lifeboat
Busy weekend for Shoreham lifeboat

The rescue of a 28m fishing vessel with six people on board in gale force winds was one of the four incidents Shoreham lifeboats were called to over the weekend.

The first call came at 3.40am on Thursday (October 5), when the all weather lifeboat was tasked to assist Newhaven Lifeboat.

The lifeboat had a 28m, 140-tonne fishing vessel under tow with six people on board in gale force 8 south west winds.

The intention was for Newhaven lifeboat to carry on the tow to the anchorage south west of Shoreham, then for Shoreham lifeboat to stand by the fishing vessel once she was at anchor, a spokesman said.

The vessel dropped anchor and Newhaven Lifeboat was released to return to station.

However, the anchor failed to hold after two attempts.

Shoreham lifeboat then had to pass a tow line to the vessel and take her under tow, said the spokesman.

Due to it coming down to low water, any attempt to get the vessel in was at least four hours away, and also a decision was being made as to where the vessel would be taken.

It was decided, when there was enough water, a commercial tug operating out of Shoreham would come out and take over the tow aided by the Shoreham Harbour tug.

Once the tow had been passed at around 10am, Shoreham lifeboat then stood by the vessels until they were inside the harbour.

The inshore lifeboat sprang to action at 2.05pm the next day, when it was launched to a 16ft speedboat which had broken down with three people on board.

The lifeboat picked up the vessel just outside Shoreham Harbour and towed it to Ropetackle, Shoreham, before returning to station.

Later on that day at 5.30pm, the all weather lifeboat was tasked to a 18ft vessel south of Shoreham Harbour which had suffered engine failure and had no radio communications.

Once the small fishing boat with three people on board had been located, a tow was passed and it was taken back to Shoreham Harbour.

Once inside the harbour, due to it being low tide the lifeboat’s Y boat was launched to tow the vessel back to the Sussex Yacht Club.

It was placed on a safe mooring and the Y boat returned to the lifeboat, which then returned to station.

On Sunday, the all weather lifeboat launched to a report of a broken down 16ft speedboat just off Widewater at 6.35pm.

The vessel with three people on board was towed to Littlehampton due to the low water at Shoreham.

Once near the harbour Littlehampton inshore lifeboat took over the tow and Shoreham lifeboat returned to station.

Shoreham lifeboat coxswain Steve Smith said: “Again it has been a busy few days and some of our calls have been long due to low water and weather conditions.

“However everyone has been rescued safely.”