‘Missing’ swimmer sees lifeboats in sea search

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A SWIMMER off the Aldwick Bay seafront sparked a search.

The male swimmer was reported missing by his wife after on Sunday, May 26. She became concerned because she had not seen him for about 30 minutes.

The alarm led to the Selsey RNLI inshore lifeboat Betty and Thomas Moore being launched at 1.05pm. It was followed five minutes later by the launch of the all-weather lifeboat, Voluntary Worker.

The inshore lifeboat was guided towards the swimmer by the Coastguard helicopter which had been the first to find him.

Having spoken to the man, the crew of Betty and Thomas Moore left him to continue swimming. Both lifeboats were stood down from duty and returned to their station.

An RNLI spokesman said: “This was a false alarm with good intent and our lifeboat crews responded accordingly.

“It just goes to show that, no matter how experienced you are or how well you may plan your journey, you never know when you will need the services of the RNLI.”

The conditions were described as warm and sunny and the sea state was slight with a SSW force three wind. The Voluntary Worker was crewed by Willie Pledger (coxswain), Max Gilligan (second coxswain), Phil Pitham (mechanic), Sam Troughton-Smith, Carol Tipping, Andy Lee and John Reeves. The crew of the Betty and Thomas Moore was Gary Pearce (helmsman) and Craig Sergeant.