26th July 2021. At 10.25, the volunteer watchkeepers at NCI Shoreham spotted a fishing vessel with one person on board capsize and sink approximately 250m south of Shoreham harbour.
They immediately informed HM Coastguard. They then spotted a surviving crew member clinging to wreckage and drifting east of the harbour and reported these details to HMCG.
Both the all-weather and inshore Shoreham lifeboats were tasked and launched just before 10.30. On arrival, the all-weather lifeboat spotted the man in the water with no lifejacket. He was recovered from the water and confirmed he was the only person on the 33ft fishing vessel before it sank.
The casualty was transferred to the inshore lifeboat and quickly taken back to the lifeboat station to be further assessed and warmed up by 10:40. The all-weather lifeboat remained in the area to investigate and recover all the debris from the water.
The casualty said: “I can’t thank the lifeboat crew enough. They saved my life.”
It was the first service for Shoreham’s newly qualified lifeboat coxswain-mechanic Simon Williams: “The fisherman didn’t even have to time to make a Mayday call because his boat sank so quickly. He was extremely lucky that he was seen by the NCI who alerted the coastguard and we found him in the water. He had already been there about 20 minutes and didn’t have a life jacket. We are just glad we were able to respond and it was a positive outcome.”
Well done to NCI Shoreham and Shoreham RNLI Lifeboat station for their prompt actions.