Six rescued after boat sinks in Littlehampton Harbour
Six people have been rescued after their boat sank in Littlehampton Harbour this morning.
According to Nick White, lifeboat operations manager of Littlehampton RNLI, they were called to the incident at around 8.15am this morning. Click here to see a video of the rescue operation.
The 27ft timber vessel with an inboard diesel engine, typically used for fishing, was departing the harbour when it struck the entrance, causing it to take in water and sink.
The six people in the boat were stranded in the water, and two other fishing vessels came to their aid and pulled five of them out of the water.
The HM Coastguard search and rescue helicopter based at Lee-on-Solent, Littlehampton Coastguard Rescue team, the South East Coast Ambulance Service and Sussex Police were also involved.
An RNLI spokesman said: "The volunteer crew of the Atlantic lifeboat rescued the man from the water and took him and a second man, who had been rescued by one of the fishing boatsand was believed to be one of the most severely affected by their time in the water, to the lifeboat station.
"The lifeboat then returned to the harbour entrance and the four remaining men were transferred from the fishing boats to the lifeboat and taken to the lifeboat station to warm up and receive treatment by the ambulance crews.
"None of the casualties required transferring to hospital."
Mr White said: "We do a lot of jobs that need to be done, but there aren't people's lives at stake.
"But in this case, we had to react quickly, which we did, and everything was textbook."
The Harbour Authority were told where the boat wreck was to avoid any hazard to passing vessels. The lifeboat was stood down and returned to the boat house at 10.05am.
Mr White passed on his thanks to the other civilians who helped in the rescue. He said: "When there are people in the water every second counts, so we are extremely grateful to the people on those vessels who played a really important part in ensuring everyone was rescued and returned safely to shore following this incident."
He added: "Our crew did a good job, along with the coastguard rescue and paramedics.
"There are lots of people who have given up a few hours this morning."
The RNLI is a charity run by volunteers; go to https://rnli.org/support-us/give-money/donate to support them.