Sunday, 14 December 2008

Veering Down

An excellent training day today.  We went to sea to practice anchoring and veering down.  Veering down is a procedure that is used to manouevre the lifeboat under control to close proximity of the casualty.  For example when rescuing people from a cliff (see picture) you can carefully ease the lifeboat back under control using the anchor, this reduces the risk of having the lifeboat washed against the same cliff/rocks.  Please remember I am a 'probationer' but I believe this is the nub of it. So the procedure was explained to me, drawn as a diagram and then demonstrated by the helm.  No problem.  All I had to do at one stage was make sure that plenty of line was payed out once the anchor had been let go - easy!!!  
So why then was I still holding grimly to the anchor warp after we had been going astern for 2o metres - imbecile.  Anyway the helm was right when he said I won't make that mistake again.
As the lifeboat edges closer to the hazard a crew member will be aft manually checking the depth, also one engine (the one closest to the hazard usually) will be raised.
After a swift crew change the lifeboat went to the aid of some local fishermen who were having engine trouble up river.
Another great day's training- looking forward to the next.....

Friday, 12 December 2008

This is from Lifeboatman John's excellent blog (I hope you don't mind John) but I think this is excellent - thanks.  And so true.....

Sunday, 7 December 2008

Christmas Dinner

We had our Christmas dinner last night (my first at the station) and it was a fantastic night. The food and the company were both excellent, as was the karaoke provided by various 'undiscovered' stars. One crew member suggested he may even take things further and pursue a singing career (poor deluded chap)! Awards were handed out for long service, extreme bravery and minor boat handling errors. Before I forget, regarding my previous post about the helicopter exercise, I really should have mentioned the outstanding seamanship demonstrated by the helm - his steady nerve and keen eye ensured a smooth transition from boat to aircraft - thanks 'Tackleberry' ;-)

Thursday, 4 December 2008

Exercise with Rescue Helicopter 104

Our helicopter exercises occur but once a year, this is largely due to where we are positioned on the coast in relation to coverage. Rye Harbour falls smack bang between Lee on Solent to the west and RAF Watersham to the east, this means we are on the edge of their jurisdiction so once a year suits them better and usually means us teaming up with a flank station which in this case was Hastings ALB and ILB.

We launched at around 09.50 on Sunday November 30th to meet with Hastings for 10.15am at the chosen position of 1nm south of Cliff End. We moored alongside waiting for the helicopter, which arrived around 30mins later. The ex begun with us dropping 2 crew onto Hastings ALB then we began doing formations with our Atlantic onto the helicopter, after the 3 crew on our boat had a turn formating Hastings ILB took its turn. Whilst doing so we took our 2 crew back off the ALB ready to be transferred. The transfers then took place with the winch man landing on our boat for some brief instructions before hand. The formations were then completed and the helo took position on the ALB for a Hi Line while underway to drop our 2 crew members off. The helo left around 11.15hrs.

It is good for us to take full advantage of such exercises as we may have to use the rescue helicopter for badly injured people at sea who find themselves in difficulty with the helo being their fastest method of transportation to seek the medical care the require. These exercises enable us to ensure all procedures carried out between us and the helicopter are executed efficiently and as fast and safely as possible.

The lifeboat returned briefly to station to collect some ashes that were later scattered.

Wednesday, 3 December 2008

Fishermans' arm caught in winch

It was an early start today when the Lifeboat launched at 6.55 am to the assistance of fishing boat 'Vic Anna' after her skipper called Dover Coastguard for help, after his arm became entangled in the net winch. Lifeboat B722 arrived along side the casualty at 7.18 am, which was eight miles south east of Rye Harbour.

The crew from Rye Harbour Lifeboat boarded 'Vic Anna' to assess the severity of the injury - there was no open wound and it was suspected that the skipper had broken his upper arm.

Dungeness All Weather Lifeboat was also tasked to the incident. It was decided due to the state of the tide at Rye Harbour and the need for a low water recovery that Dungeness Lifeboat would recover the casualty, where he would be transferred to hospital by ambulance from Dungeness lifeboat station. The casualty's arm had gone round the winch a couple of times before he was able to release his limb.

Tony Edwards, RNLI Deputy Launching Authority for Rye Harbour RNLI Lifeboat, said: ‘This is one of he hazards of working in a dangerous environment. Here at Rye Harbour we train on a regular basis which also includes training with Dungeness Lifeboat. Training for this kind of incident is essential as it can be a matter of life and death. Today, only 1 in 10 crew members join the RNLI from a professional maritime occupation.’

It was later confirmed that the skipper has badly broken his upper arm.

Monday, 1 December 2008

Souvenir Shop opening times for December

The shop opening times for December are:

Saturday 6th 11 am to 3 pm
Sunday 7th 11 am to 3 pm
Saturday 20th 11 am to 3 pm
Sunday 21st 11 am to 3 pm