A man was rescued from a boat that caught fire eight miles from Littlehamption harbour

Littlehampton and Shoreham lifeboats, as well as a coastguard helicopter, rushed to the aid of a stricken angling boat yesterday morning after coastguards were alerted by the boat’s owner. Fire broke out aboard the 27ft Margaret Rose while it was some eight miles south east of Littlehampton’s harbour entrance.

The boat’s owner, who had been fishing alone, managed to successfully launch and climb aboard his liferaft, and used a mobile phone to call for help. He was unharmed and was taken aboard Littlehampton’s Atlantic 85 lifeboat Blue Peter 1 for passage back to shore.

Shoreham lifeboat stood by to keep other boats away from the burning Margaret Rose because of the danger posed by the 150 litres of diesel and two gas canisters aboard. “This was a very dangerous situation and required a swift response”, said a Solent Coastguard spokesman. The angling boat later sank.

Photo: RNLI/ Eddit Mitchell