Sunday, 1 May 2011


Three men aged between 18 and 22 years old have been rescued from an inflatable toy boat a mile off the shore at West Worthing this morning.

A member of the public was fortunate to be in the area bird spotting when he could see through his high powered telescope three people in an inflatable boat waiving for assistance, he immediately raised the alarm by calling Solent Coastguard at .

Solent Coastguard sent Coastguard Rescue officers from Shoreham and Littlehampton to the scene and requested the launch of the Littlehampton RNLI lifeboat.

Matt West, Watch Officer, Solent Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre, said:

"When the lifeboat crew arrived on scene they discovered three men all in shorts and t-shirts clearly suffering from hypothermia, they had been in the inflatable boat since the previous evening.  All they had between them was a carrier bag of beer and one paddle; they had no means of communications. 

These young men were taken to the nearest shoreline and transferred to Worthing General hospital by South East Central Ambulance.

These three young men although in hospital, have been very fortunate to have been spotted and recovered. If the weather conditions had not been so favorable and mild with north east winds force 4 – 5, weather temperatures ranged from 11 – 15 degrees centigrade, they would have drifted further out to sea and not been detected and faced the possibility of far worse outcome.

We urge the public to exercise caution and remember alcohol impairs your judgment.”

The Coastguard take every opportunity to encourage people to have fun and enjoy leisure activities at sea and at the coast, but also to plan ahead, make more informed choices and take personal responsibility for their safety.
Our analysis shows that in 2007, at least 245 people got into difficultly at the coast and at sea because they were not adequately experienced in their environment, 234 incidents were caused because people were unaware of weather conditions, and 29 people died because they failed to wear a lifejacket.
So our top messages for anyone going afloat are:
  • Get trained
  • Check the weather and tides
  • Wear a lifejacket
  • Avoid Alcohol
  • Keep in touch.

For further details contact:
The Maritime & Coastguard Agency Duty Press Officer
Office hours: 023 8032 9401
Mobile: 07764 624 505
Press releases and further information about the Agency is available on the Web at

Follow us on twitter mca