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Concern for missing Bill Johnson

Bill Johnson hasn't been seen since the 1st May Credit: Sussex Police

Have you seen missing 56-year-old Bill Johnson?

Bill has not been seen since Friday 1 May and police are becoming increasingly concerned for his welfare.

He left his home in Littlehampton on 1 May and went to the town's railway station where he was recorded on CCTV at 8.30am.

Bill sent a text message to a friend the following day but has not been in contact with anyone since 2 May.

He is white, slim and has short grey hair and a scar on his upper lip.

"We have been looking for Bill for several days but have so far been unable to find him. We know that he is a regular churchgoer, usually in Chichester, but he could go to a service somewhere else so I am keen for the members of congregations in West Sussex to keep an eye out for him on Sunday in case he turns up for mass. We also know that he uses buses and trains to get around and that he particularly likes to go to the harbour area of Littlehampton and the seafront in the town. If you have any idea where Bill is, please get in touch with us."

– Sergeant Ian Maloney

Fog leaves swimmer in trouble

A man who went out for a swim got into difficulties after being caught in fog. The 29 year old had gone for a swim near Littlehampton Harbour entrance. His brother who was onshore panicked when he disappeared out of sight and called for help. Littlehampton Coastguard Rescue Team and Littlehampton Lifeboats were sent to look for the missing man. He was retrieved from the water but did not require an ambulance.

National Maritime Operations Controller for the UK Coastguard, Ashley Rawson said; "A combination of the fog which can appear quickly this time of year and the tide can leave people in difficulty. You can think that you’re swimming and making progress but the tide can be against you and with the fog you have no idea where you are and how far you’ve got. This is the third incident like this in about a week which can be attributed to the warmer spring weather that catches the public unawares as the sea temperatures are still low."

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Mother & daughter struggling in sea rescued by RNLI

RNLI lifeguards in Littlehampton have carried out their first rescue of the season today. A mother and daughter - both adults - were struggling with their inflatable in a strong offshore breeze off Littlehampton East beach in West Sussex.

RNLI lifeguard Brittany Jones, spotted the two women and paddeled out to them using her rescue board. She then helped them to keep afloat until ifeguards from Littlehampton West Tim Walton and Dan Seagrove Castle were able to launch the inshore rescue boat to bring them all safely to shore.

RNLI lifeguards will patrol the beaches at Littlehampton until 7 September.

‘It was a busy day on the beach, but I spotted the two women just outside of the lifeguard zone and they looked like they were having trouble getting back to shore.

‘It’s situations like this where your training really kicks in. Thankfully, it was a happy ending, but we would advise all those visiting a beach to stay in an area where the lifeguards can see you, and if in danger, call for help immediately.’

– Brittany Jones, RNLI lifeguard

Man bailed in connection with fatal flat fire

A man arrested in connection with a fire in Littlehampton, which killed a 24-year-old man, has been bailed. The 29-year-old man from Bognor Regis was arrested on suspicion of murder yesterday and has now been bailed until March 20th while investigations continue.

Terry Davies died in the blaze on South Parade in Littlehampton last September.

29-year-old questioned by police

A man has been arrested in connection with a fire in Littlehampton which killed a 24-year-old man.

The 29-year-old man from Bognor Regis has been arrested on suspicion of murder and remains in custody.

Police were called to a fire at a property in South Parade at 12.47am on 12th September 2013.

Terry Davies, 24, died in the blaze. The investigation was passed to Surrey and Sussex Major Crime Team when the fire was found to have been started deliberately.

Anyone with information is asked to contact police on 101 quoting Operation Annexe.

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Littlehampton RNLI call-outs in rough sea

The crew of the Littlehampton lifeboat station were called on Friday afternoon to reports of a sailboarder in the rough water separated from his board.

The station's boat was launched at 3.36pm and headed out in gale conditions with an incoming tidal swell to the casualty in Bognor Regis.

The 5.5 mile journey took around 15 minutes and during their route it was reported the casualty had made his own way to the shore and needed no medical assistance.

On route to recovering the man's board, the crew received a call reporting another sailboarder in difficulty off Littlehampton beach.

The RNLI's on-board camera captures the action Credit: RNLI

The caller said they had lost sight of both the victim and his board.

The boat changed course in anticipation for a search and a second crew boat was launched at 4.14pm.

While the crews were searching at sea the coastguards checked vehicles near the main board launching areas, and spoke with other sailboarders to see if any off them were missing or saw anything unusual.

It was concluded that all were accounted for and the boats returned by 5.10pm.

Fire in Littlehampton now treated as arson and murder

A fire in Littlehampton, where a man died, is now being treated as arson and murder.

Terry Davies, who was 24-years-old, lived in the property in South Terrace when the fire started on Thursday 12th September.

He sadly died from smoke inhalation.

It was originally believed the fire was started by an electrical fault but further investigations by the West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service has found that white spirit had been used instead.

The investigation has now been passed on to the Surrey and Sussex Major Crime Team.

Detective Inspector John Wallace said, "A young man lost his life that night because someone started that fire in the property, a fire which could have cost the lives of other occupants who had to be rescued by firefighters.

"We need to find who is responsible."

Anyone with information is urged to contact the police on 101 or email 101@sussex.pnn.police.uk quoting Operation Annexe.

Fisherman rescued from boat on fire

A fisherman was rescued this morning after the boat he was on caught on fire.

Emergency services were called around 9.30 this morning to attend the scene. The owner had taken to his liferaft and paddled away from the craft. He was wearing a lifejacket and called for help using his mobile phone.

A fisherman was rescued from a blazing boat near Littlehampton this morning Credit: RNLI/Eddie Mitchell

The lifeboat crew found that the fisherman, who was on his own, had successfully launched and climbed aboard his liferaft. He was unharmed, and was recovered by the lifeboat crew. Shoreham Lifeboat remained on scene and stood by the burning wreck, which has subsequently sunk.

The boat has now subsequently sunk. Credit: RNLI/Eddie Mitchell
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