LIFEBOAT crews in Littlehampton have had another busy year.
Figures released by the RNLI on Tuesday (January 28) show volunteers in Littlehampton were called out a total of 55 times during 2013, rescuing 54 people off the coast of the town.
The statistics also show the Littlehampton team saved the lives of three people.
However, station manager Nick White explained that although the call-out rate seemed high, compared to previous years, 2013 was a relatively quiet 12 months.
“We have had years where we were called out some 80 times,” he said. “But this year has been a relatively calm year for us, in Littlehampton.
“Although we cover only a small stretch of the coast from Worthing to Bognor, so 55 calls is still busy.”
Nick said the most dramatic rescue the crew were called out to was an ablaze boat, six miles off the coast, in December.
The ship’s captain was forced to abandon ship when his craft caught fire and later exploded.
“This was a dramatic example of what the guys can be asked to deal with,” Nick said. “Nothing for us is ever a routine call.”
He added he was pleased that there were fewer call-outs for the town’s two lifeboats this year
“It’s always good if people don’t get in trouble. But the fact is we were still called out more than 50 times.
“It’s only a short stretch of coast between Bognor and Worthing. This just goes to show that the service will always be needed in Littlehampton.”
Collectively, crew from the 17 stations along the coast of Sussex and Kent launched for 869 missions last year.