Tuesday, 29 April 2008

All at sea for overdue Rigid Inflatable Boat

Rye Harbour RNLI Lifeboat B-727, launched on service today (28/02/2008) at 6.30 pm to a 5 metre rigid inflatable boat (RIB) which had been reported as overdue. The RIB with blue tubes and a white hull launched at Rye Harbour around 2 pm and was heading to Eastbourne’s Sovereign Harbour with three people onboard.

Rye Harbour RNLI Lifeboat B-727 headed to the cliffs at Fairlight where they started their search at 6.44 pm heading west towards Hastings. When they reached Hastings they turned east searching back to Rye Harbour while Coastguard teams were searching towards the west.

Dover Coastguard extended the search area, requesting the launch of Hastings RNLI all-weather and inshore Lifeboats as well as Eastbourne RNLI all-weather Lifeboat. The Coastguard Spotter plane Whisky Bravo was scrambled and joined the search at 7.24 pm.

During the search, information was received by Dover Coastguard that a RIB fitting the description was seen passing the lifeboat house at Hastings at about 4 pm.

The RIB was found tied to groynes on the shore at Cooden Beach Hotel. Three individuals were found safe ashore. Rye Harbour RNLI Lifeboat was released from the search at 7.42 pm along with all parties involved in the search.

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

‘Today’s service resulted in the south coast from Rye Harbour to Eastbourne’s Sovereign Harbour being searched for a rigid inflatable boat (RIB), which was located within 60 minutes of the search being started.

Regular training is vital to allow volunteers to go to sea and save lives. It costs an average of £1,000 a year to train each volunteer crew member. As a charity the RNLI is funded through voluntary contributions.’

Monday, 28 April 2008

Assistance requested by Hastings all-weather Lifeboat

Rye Harbour RNLI Lifeboat, B-727, ‘Commander & Mrs Rodney Wells’ was diverted from exercise on Sunday (27/04/08) morning to assist Hastings RNLI All-Weather Lifeboat 12-002, ‘Sealink Endeavour’ which was on service to the 50 foot yacht ‘Fog Cutter’ who was taking water off Pett Level.

Rye Harbour RNLI Lifeboat, B-727, was requested at 12.02 pm to assist with the service – to transfer equipment and personnel between Hastings RNLI Lifeboat and casualty.

At 12.30 pm the decision was made to tow the casualty ‘Fog Cutter’ to Dover. Rye Harbour RNLI Lifeboat was released from the service at 12.48 pm and returned to station at 1 pm.

Friday, 25 April 2008

Safety first...

The two strong points used for a beach recovery at Rye Harbour were safety tested Thursday night. A certificate was issued for each strong point detailing a safe working limit of 5 tonnes.

To ensure operational availability it was necessary for the Lifeboat to be taken to the shore with a full crew and launching team.

Thursday, 17 April 2008

Dog jumps into the River Rother

Rye Harbour RNLI Lifeboat crew launched today(17/04/2008) at 6.25 pm to a dog which jumped into the River Rother at Rye Harbour, whilst chasing a seagull. The rescue took place without the use of a boat as there was not enough water in the river.

Four crew members attended the incident by vehicle, taking the station maintenance ladder with them to gain access to the river bed. The dog, Millie, a Patterdale terrier had swam across the river to Camber - where she became stranded on a sand bar near the mouth of the River Rother.

Two of the Rye Harbour RNLI Lifeboat crew climbed down the ladder and waded across the river to where the dog was stranded. They caught Millie and carried her back across the river and up the ladder, where she was reunited with her owners Mr and Mrs Wintle of Crowhurst.

Tony Edwards, RNLI DLA (Deputy Launching Authority) at Rye Harbour said:
‘The owners did the right thing by not attempting to get into the river to rescue the dog, but instead telephone for assistance. RNLI Lifeboat crews have the necessary equipment to enable them to carry out a safe rescue.
The crew train Sunday mornings and Monday evenings: regular training is vital to allow volunteers to go to sea and save lives'.

Wednesday, 16 April 2008

Dog stranded after jumping into river

Rye Harbour RNLI Lifeboat crew launched today at 2.35 pm to a Staffordshire bull terrier named 'Millie', after she jumped into the River Rother at Rye Harbour.

The crew had to borrow a 3.5m RIB (rigid inflatable boat) from Henk Ruysch, owner of Rye Harbour Marine as there was not enough water in the river to launch the RNLI Lifeboat, B-727 'Commander and Mrs Rodney Wells'.

The three man crew made their way to the casualty arriving at 2.45 pm. The dog was distressed, making it impossible for the crew to recover her into the boat. The decision was made: to collect the owner who would calm the dog, assisting her safe recovery.

The lifeboat returned to station at 3.27 pm with 'Millie', her owner and the three crew.

Laura Furlong, Millie's owner said: 'We are so grateful'.

Richard Tollett, RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager at Rye Harbour said:
‘This type of rescue is not unusual here at Rye Harbour, we have several shouts to dogs in the river each year.

‘The crew here at Rye Harbour RNLI Lifeboat Station train twice a week. Today, only one in ten crew members join the RNLI with any professional maritime background’.

Sunday, 13 April 2008

Life's a funny old lot

Since my last blog spirits have been up and down, up and down.

A very nice evening was had at The Top O' The Hill pub earlier this month when Peter Clark, our Station Padre had a retirement do for the Crew. Peter is a very nice man and will, I am sure be missed by all at the Station. He is moving away from the Rye Area, but will be carrying on his Chaplaincy work in his new locality.

When you do this job you get to know everybody at the Station as individuals, (as well as team members). Some are are hard going and some are very easy to get to know and work with.

This month I lost a friend to Cancer. Mark was a very enthusiastic crew member at Rye Harbour. He was a keen Sailor, had shares in a speed boat, but most of all he was a Lifeboat man in the true meaning of the word. Nothing was too much trouble for him, and he was always prepared to help. His enthusiasm was in deed infectious. He will be remembered for a long time.

Last week we had our fist proper shout of the year (not that the others weren't serious for those involved). The wind was five gusting six from the South West. It was an hour and a half after high water and we had a 35ft Trawler working out of Rye three and a half miles SSE of the Harbour was having fuel problems. The Lifeboat was launched to her assistance and the casualty was towed home. It was a first for the Helmsman in charge and all went well. One of our new lads discovered that it is quite easy to part company with a Cheese and Pickle sandwich in rough weather, even if it is your favourite.

Saturday, 12 April 2008

Fishing boat 'Vic Anna', suffering from fuel problems

Rye Harbour RNLI Lifeboat, B727, launched at 4.30 pm on 11/04/2008 to the 35 foot fishing vessel 'Vic Anna', suffering from fuel problems.

Whilst the Lifeboat was making its way through choppy to rough seas, the skipper of 'Vic Anna' reported to Dover Coastguard that they had deployed their anchor - which wasn't holding and they were drifting towards shore off Galloway's Tower.

At 4.52 pm Rye Harbour RNLI Lifeboat took fishing boat 'Vic Anna' in tow and returned her to her moorings at the Fish Market at Rye. Lifeboat B727 returned to station at 6.25 pm.

Tony Edwards, RNLI Lifeboat DLA (Deputy Launching Authority) at Rye Harbour said: ‘It was a text book launch. The crew were paged at 4.22 pm and the Lifeboat was on its way eight minutes later. The regular crew training was definitely put to good use in today's rough sea.

The RNLI offers sea safety advice to fishermen and sailors. More information is available at www.rnli.org.uk/seasafety

Friday, 11 April 2008

First Aid Exercise 6th April 2008

It's been a while since my last entry so this time their is lots to talk about. We are continuing to train here at Rye Harbour on Sundays, Monday evenings and now Thursday evenings too. Though new volunteers starting at the station are only required to attend twice a month, we offer another evening for keener individuals or target someone's specific needs or established crew to brush up. We are soon to have a larger demand too, as three 17 year old lads are soon to be joining so the extra session gives all probationers an equal chance on the boat.

As the title is headed first aid I will talk now about the planned exercise that took place last Sunday. We are fortunate enough to have Natalie a paramedic on the crew, between Nat and myself we come up with some scenarios. Nat offers the first aid side and I try and work that around the boat side and the two generally work together quite nicely giving a realistic impression of the sort of incidents our crew face. This exercise in particular was set in the dunes at Camber Sands, the lifeboat crew were told a man was 400 meters west of central car park and had injured his leg. Little did the crew know Nat had managed to get hold of a severed foot (not a real one!) so this was used as a part of the exercise. The crew on arrival then discovered this, they stopped the bleeding by dressing the wound, immobilised the casualty and stretchered him back to the lifeboat. At this stage the exercise was complete and the boat returned for a debrief.

Debriefs are important, as it gives everyone an opportunity to express their thoughts and it also gives Nat the chance to offer some of her advice and better methods. Naturally once all was complete it was off to the pub for the "official debrief"as well as a few laughs!!

Friday, 4 April 2008

Now we know why...

One of life's many questions has been answered by this photo - kindly sent in by Tony Edwards

Now we know why it takes seven hours for the tide to come in...