Thursday, 28 February 2008

New Helmsman at Rye Harbour

Following an Inspector’s Exercise on Mondaynight (25/02/08), Don Paige became the fifth helmsman at Rye Harbour Lifeboat Station.

After successfully completing his ‘B’ Class Helm course at the RNLI Lifeboat College in Poole, Dorset; Don has been putting all his newly gained knowledge to use over the last few months.

Last nights exercise saw Don put all that knowledge into practice, whilst being put through his paces. At the end of the exercise, Don was passed out as an RNLI ‘B’ Class Helmsman.

Richard Tollett, Lifeboat Operation Manager at Rye Harbour said:

‘Training is vital to allow volunteers to go to sea and save lives. On average, it cost £20,000 for training at each lifeboat station, each year. The RNLI’s Train one, save many fundraising campaign aims to raise £10 million over 5 years for the vital training our volunteer lifeboat crews and lifeguards need'.

'I would like to congratulate Don on attaining his new position as a Helmsman'.

Tuesday, 26 February 2008

This is it!

I don’t want to be left out as the Station moves on into the 21st Century, so I have become a blogger as well.

Up to now things have been pretty much the same as most other years at Rye Harbour Station. We have all been trying to get back in gear after Christmas. One of the prospective Helmsmen, Don has been to the RLNI Training College in Poole for his Helmsman’s course. He came back all chuffed with himself, and quite right too. Last night Monday, he went to sea with the DDI (Deputy Divisional Inspector) for his pass out and to prove that he was fit to command the Lifeboat. He duly passed and we now have another Helm at the Station. Congratulations Don, well done.

While we were launching we managed to find some mud. It took two hours to clean up after this one.

On the 6th of January we had a shout for a missing canoeist on the Rother. The canoe had capsized just above Star lock and we were tasked to search below the lock. At this stage we were looking for a body. Not a very nice task but it comes with the job. Nothing was found and we washed up wondering what had become of him. His body was found the following day, not far from where he went in.

Our next shout was last Friday 22nd Feb. At about 23.30 the Harbour master rang me at home and reported two persons in trouble opposite his office. It was about an hour to high water and we had about a one metre tidal surge on. This meant that the car park area adjacent to the Sailing Club had flooded. Two chaps in a car parked there had suddenly found themselves surrounded with water, while the driver was trying to get back to dry land he accidentally reversed into a gulley with about five feet of water in it. Fortunately for them the Harbour pilots were preparing to bring a ship into port and they noticed the car and occupants on the other side of the river. That was when the Harbour Master phoned me. I paged the Crew and within five minutes the crew were in attendance and got the chaps out of the water. They were later taken to Hospital by ambulance with suspected hypothermia.

Sunday, 24 February 2008

Sunday 24th Feb Training

As you will see from the image on the left it's been a nice morning in Rye Harbour, not too cold with a gentle southerly breeze.

We set off from the station around 10.30hrs after coffee and a chat then procceded up towards Rye. The intentinon of this mornings exercise was slow speed manouvering, this type of exercise gives a crew member a greater appreciation of the effects that wind and tide have on the lifeboat. It also with practice makes manouvering the boat easier and in a more controlled mannor using the tide especially to your advantage.

The exercise lasted for 2 hours, the boat was then washed and checked over and made ready for service.

Jai Gudgion

Helmsman / LTC

Saturday, 23 February 2008

Lads rescued from car in water filled gulley, with tide rising fast.

Friday 22 February 2008 at 11.39 pm Rye Harbour RNLI Lifeboat crew were assembled to rescue two lads from a car that had gone into a water filled gulley at Rye Harbour.

The alarm was raised by the Harbour Master, Carl Bagwell at 11.36 pm after seeing two people waving from the car, which was in a water filled gulley, with the tide rising fast; the situation was made worse by a tidal surge.

The two lads managed to get out of the car, but were stranded in the water on the salt marsh and disorientated in the dark

The crew led them back to safety (RNLI Pentax award winning photographer, Crewman Tony Peters, carried one of the lads after he collapsed), where they were taken to the locker room, with the heating on full, as it was suspected they were suffering from hypothermia.

The ambulance service was called and both casualties were taken to Hastings Conquest Hospital.

Richard Tollett, RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager at Rye Harbour said:

'The two lads were extremely lucky that the Harbour Master noticed them. If they had not been spotted, the outcome could have had tragic consequences'.

Thursday, 21 February 2008

My First Entry

As this is my first entry I will be brief.

It is a Thursday night @ Rye Harbour Lifeboat Station and our "unofficial" training night. Many may think it's another excuse to go down the pub after but it is currently acting as extra tuition for anyone who feels they need to put in some extra time, or for those about to attend courses and may need bringing up to speed.

Our next candidate to be attending a course will be Micheal Byrne who is going to Poole on the week commencing 10/03/08 for a B Class Intro course so best of luck to him not that he needs it.

I will finish by saying that my aim on this blog is to give at least a weekly account of our station training events. Training is vital as it turns volunteers into lifesavers, hopefully this blog will give readers some insight into the time and effort volunteers like myself put into Rye Harbour Lifeboat Station and ultimately the RNLI.

Be Safe

Jai Gudgion

Helmsman & Lifeboat Training Co-ordinator

Wednesday, 20 February 2008

Crewman, Antony Peters wins award in RNLI Pentax Photographer of the Year (2007) competition

On the 3rd June 2007, whilst on service to the fishing vessel ‘Donald John’ – suffering from a sheared drive plate, crewman Antony Peters took a photo of the ‘Donald John’ being towed back to harbour by Rye Harbour Lifeboat, B727.

The photo was entered in the RNLI Pentax Photographer of the year (2007) competition. Tony’s photo won the Best Photograph by an RNLI volunteer inshore lifeboat crew award.

Exhibited for the first time at the 2008 London Boat Show (on the RNLI’s stand N030B), the overall and category winners photographs gave visitors to the show a unique snapshot into the training and rescue work by RNLI volunteer crews and lifeguards, as witnessed by them.

Now in its second year, the RNLI Pentax Photographer of the year competition was developed to document the rescue work of the lifesaving charity. All lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland are equipped with digital waterproof cameras from Pentax’s Optio ‘W’ series, enabling appropriate, real-time, high quality images of their lifesaving activities to be captured.

Commenting on the RNLI Pentax Photographer of the Year, Andrew Freemantle CBE, RNLI Chief Executive said:

‘Digital film and photography are now utilised by the RNLI to record search and rescue operations and exercises; this greatly assists the vital training of our volunteer lifeboat crews and lifeguards. Appropriate, real-time, high-quality digital images of the life-saving work of our volunteers are not only crucial to operations but also in raising public awareness of the charity that provides a 24-hour lifesaving service. I wish to pass on my thanks and congratulations to the winner, runners-up and all RNLI volunteers that have taken part in the 2007 competition.’

David Moore, Managing Director of Pentax (UK) said:

‘We wish to congratulate the overall winner and runners-up of the RNLI Pentax Photographer of the Year competition. All entries submitted by the RNLI’s volunteer lifeboat crews and lifeguards in 2007 were of a very high standard, but RNLI Lifeguard Bobby Renaud’s photograph is a really striking image that captured the attention and imagination of all the judges. The winning image certainly shows that our Optio W-series digital cameras are capable of surviving the elements and can enable users to capture quality photos in difficult shooting conditions!’

Prizes for the winning lifeguard and volunteer lifeboat crew members were provided by Pentax and presented by David Moore.

Did you know?
It costs an average of £1,000 a year to train each volunteer crew member.