THREE men had a lucky escape after they were found floating almost two miles from Worthing’s coast after 11 hours at sea.
The three men, who have not been named, were rescued by RNLI Littlehampton just after 8am this morning (Sunday, May 1) after their small dinghy was spotted off the coast with its occupants waving for help.
Helmsman Andy Harris and crew Paul James and Rob Devo found the seven foot inflatable toy dinghy with three men aboard.
They had been afloat since 9pm yesterday (Saturday, April 30), and were dressed in beach clothes – shorts and t-shirts, with no lifejackets, no means of communication and one paddle.
According to the rescuers, the men were disorientated having spent the night in darkness at sea, and were suffering from hypothermia.
Nick White, Littlehampton’s volunteer lifeboat operations manager, said: “These three gents were extremely fortunate to be seen by a vigilant member of the public, and so lucky to have survived overnight with no protection and no lifejackets.
“It would have been so easy for the dinghy to have been capsized by the smallest of waves.
“The RNLI’s first aid training is to a very high standard, so once we had recovered the men, they were in good hands.
“I’m sure these men will be more careful in the future and we hope this incident will make others will become aware of keeping safe at sea.”
The three men were treated for hypothermia by the crew, before being met by the Coastguard and awaiting ambulances and taken to Worthing Hospital.