Monday, 23 November 2009


Well, it really is quiet at the boathouse recently. We had our coffee morning at the sailing club last weekend - which was nice, and we showed visitors around our boat house. I was in our boathouse this afternoon (wind gusting 40-50 kts) and I was listening to a Tamar on passage through the channel - how jealous was I, it must've been great out there. Oh, nearly forgot, we had to rescue these lovely ladies, you may recognise the beach as Camber. They really were very grateful.....


Tuesday, 27 October 2009



Here is a better picture of my boat 'Lily Pilli'.

Sunday, 18 October 2009

This was my view of Rye Harbour lifeboat today as we practiced towing using my ocean going fishing vessel 'Lily Pilli'. Astern and alongside tows were practiced and I was returned safely to my mooring. I took the opportunity to dangle a line over the side in an effort to coax one of the copious amounts of bass that dwell in Rye Harbour onto my hook. Alas it was not to be! Anyway a great days training on a beautiful day in Rye Harbour, what could be better?

Saturday, 17 October 2009

Tractor Training




A varied week of training this week. I was given further training by the Chief Tractor Instructor (see pic above)) and recovered the lifeboat after an exercise. As you can see by the stern, Harry Potter, type expression on his face I don't think I excelled at the task - oh well, remedial tractor training for me! Later on in the week we managed to affix our new oxygen bottle to the A frame of the boat. A strange thing happened when we opened the bag - a little leprechaun type chap popped out (see lower pic). If anyone recognises him, please come and collect from Rye Harbour asap, or he will be put up as a raffle prize at next years ball.



During training on Thursday we were called to the aid of a small yacht that had lost power just off Rye Harbour and so we got to tow it back to it's mooring safely - which was nice! Finally one more picture to illustrate the characters at the boathouse - at least I think they are part of the crew, maybe they just wander in every week for a hot drink!!!


Wednesday, 14 October 2009

RNLI Coffee Morning: 24 October 2009

Rye Harbour RNLI Lifeboat Station will be holding their Annual Coffee Morning on Saturday 24 October 2009 at the Butter Market, Town Hall, Rye.

The doors will open between 9.30am and 12.30pm.

There will be:

  • a cake stall
  • refreshments
  • RNLI Christmas cards
  • tombola

This is a great opportunity for our supporters to come and have a
chat and meet the members of the fundraising team.

Saturday, 10 October 2009

Late Summer Ball 2009



Rye Harbour Lifeboat Station Personnel
photo courtesy of Don Frost Event Photography


This years event was sponsored by the following:

Kent & Sussex Powerboat Training (National Powerboat Course Level II)
John Roberts & Son (£100 voucher for furniture)
Kites on Board (Trip for 2 on Zap Cat)
Jumbo & Chris (Magnum of Champagne Moet & Chandon)
Ashdown Hurrey (2 Bottles Marquis Duperray Champagne)
Martello Bookshop, Rye (Book: Oceans)
The Cats Whiskers (Salon Professional hand held hairdryer)
Mrs P Mitchell-Innes (6 Bottles of Wine)
Rye Hire (£25 Hire Voucher)
Budgens (Bottle Whyte & MacKay Whiskey)
The Pette Shoppe (Selection of bird feed & feeder)
Rye Spice (Spice Rack)
Jim Soan & Sons Ltd (Electric Plane - power tool)
Don Frost Event Photography
Entertainment Workshops
Band:

  • Sam Claver

  • Alex Knight

  • Dan Large

Jempsons of Peasmarsh
Riverside Restaurant at the River Haven Hotel

without their continued support, the Late Summer Ball would not be the success it continues to be.

Thursday, 8 October 2009

New Deputy Launching Authority at Rye Harbour

Andrew Tollett became the third Deputy Launching Authority (DLA) currently at the Rye Harbour RNLI Lifeboat station, with effect from 01 August 2009.


Andrew joined the crew at Rye Harbour RNLI Lifeboat station on his 17 birthday back in 1982. During his 27 years of Life-boating Andrew has held various position at the station; he brings a wealth of experience to the Operations Team at Rye Harbour. Andrew was awarded his long service badge on 01/10/2002.

Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Has anyone seen a ship?



Hello again folks, I have been away recently on an adventure. The picture on the left was my first view of SV Tenacious where she was berthed in Canary Wharf. She is a 'tall ship' operated by the Jubilee Sailing Trust and I had been lucky enough to gain a berth for a voyage to Southampton courtesy of my employer, Allianz, who support this charity.



The 'special' thing about this ship is that it's crew are made up of physically disabled and able bodied people. I was fortunate enough to be buddied up with Anthony and we both had an excellent time, with Anthony even 'climbing' the ship's mast in his wheelchair. There were also people on board with restricted sight and hearing but everyone played a part in crewing the ship on a successful voyage to Southampton via Holland and Cowes. If anyone would like further information on this fantastic organisation please contact them direct or e-mail me for a full account. Anyway back to lifeboat duties, more soon......................




Sunday, 30 August 2009



Sunday morning at the boathouse.......this morning was utilised conducting some 'cross' training. As a volunteer organisation you never know who is going to be able to turn up for a shout. For this reason Rye Harbour attaches a lot of importance to all members of the crew having an understanding of all the tasks undertaken on station. This means that, in an emergency, the show does not stop because the normal incumbent is not available and also enhances team spirit. The picture shows our chief tractor instructor, Rod, conducting some training with one of the crew. As you can see Rod is immensely proud of his tractor!

Saturday, 22 August 2009

Spot the blue swimming costume...............


I have been 'away' from the blog for a while but due to a fairly busy week or so thought it about time to post. As can be read earlier in the blog we went out to a kayaker in trouble off Pett recently - top tip for budding kayakers - kayaks will not float well with no bung in! The occupant had made it to the beach safely so all ended well. This week we had a busy day scouring the water off Camber for 7 lost children! All ended well on that day as well but I still find some of the information a little surprising that the parents give......'little Johnny aged 7, last seen heading into the water'..... also nearly all of the children reported lost were wearing blue costumes. I am not a parent and definitely don't follow fashion but perhaps parents should consider dressing their children a little more conspicuously to make them easy to pick out on such a busy beach, I don't know. I spent the shout walking chest deep in the sea from one end of the beach to the other and it was pretty warm, not for me the glory of riding on the boat ;-) If one more holiday maker had made the hilarious jape 'lost your boat?' I think there may have been even more casualties that day. What kind of person jokes when we are clearly searching for someone? Amazing! (Rant over)
I have just spent an idle hour watching small pleasure craft deploy from the public slip at Rye Harbour and I am always amazed at what people put their faith in when they venture to sea. Within 5 minutes I saw speed boats pass right under the bows of passing yachts and personal water craft narrowly missing partly submerged posts. Surely the fact that they are launching right next to a lifeboat station would make some people consider their own and others safety?
Anyway no shouts as I write so hopefully everyone is enjoying a great day at sea, safely. More soon...................

Friday, 21 August 2009

First Aid administered to skippers face

RNLI relief Lifeboat B762 'Jack & Joyce Burcombe' launched on service on 20/08/2009 at 2.45 pm. Dover Coastguard contacted the Lifeboat Operation Manager at Rye Harbour to advise him that they had received a telephone call from the skipper of a 4m RIB (Rigid Inflatable Boat), who were experiencing a lot of sea between Hastings and Rye Harbour and were unhappy with the
situation but didn't feel that he needed the Lifeboat.

It was felt by Richard Tollett, RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager at Rye Harbour that it would be prudent to launch and escort the casualty in to harbour, a course of action that was agreed with by Dover Coastguard. Lifeboat B762 met the casualty west of Rye Harbour entrance at 2.50 pm. It was noticed that the skipper had a cut to his face, which had been received when he had head butted the steering wheel. The skippers wife was very concerned by their situation almost to the extent of being frightened. Reassurance was given by the crew of Lifeboat B762 and the boat was escorted into Rye Harbour.

The casualty was put on the public slipway at Rye Harbour and they put their boat back on its trailer at 3.15 pm. After they had recovered their boat, both husband and wife came into the boathouse and first aid was given to the skippers face. The Lifeboat was washed down and made ready for service at 3.50 pm.

Tony Edwards, Deputy Launching Authority for Rye Harbour RNLI Lifeboat Station, said: 'this is one of those situations that the crew train on a regular basis for. Today, only 1 in 10 crew members joins the RNLI with a professional maritime occupation.'

Seven missing persons.

RNLI relief Lifeboat B762 'Jack & Joyce Burcombe' launched on 19/08/09 at 3.40 pm after being requested by Dover Coastguard to assist with a search for seven missing children at Camber sands. Lifeboat B762 was on scene at 3.45 pm and a thorough search of the area conducted.

Because of the number of people on the beach at Camber, two additional crew members were put ashore by the Lifeboat to help search for the Children on the beach. Throughout the afternoon reports of children being found by persons ashore, were being received and at 5.20 pm Dover Coastguard reported that all seven missing children had been found.

Before departing from the scene, Lifeboat B762 was tasked to carry out one last sweep along the whole length of Camber Sands. This completed the Lifeboat prepared for a low water recovery just west of Rye Harbour entrance. At 6.10 pm Lifeboat B762 reported that they had come across three swimmers, at least half a mile from the shore and all were struggling to make it back ashore. They were recovered into the Lifeboat and landed on Camber Sands. The Lifeboat then returned to the recovery location and was recovered onto it's carriage at 6.20 pm. The Lifeboat arrived back at station at 7.15 pm and was ready for service at 8 pm.

Tony Edwards, Deputy Launching Authority for Rye Harbour RNLI Lifeboat Station, said: 'The RNLI rescues an average of four young people every day. Remember SAFE. SAFE is aimed at helping children remember key sea safety messages: Spot the dangers. Always go with a friend. Find and follow safety signs and flags. Emergency? Stick up your hands and shout or ring 999 or
112. For more information visit www.rnli.org.uk/shorething.'

Monday, 10 August 2009

LIFEBOAT LAUNCHES ON SERVICE FOR A PERSON IN THE WATER

Rye Harbour RNLI relief Lifeboat B762 'Jack & Joyce Burcombe' launched on service today (10/08/09) at 3.18 pm, to a person in the water a half mile south of Pett Level slipway. When RNLI Lifeboat B762 arrived on scene at 3.30 pm the casualty had already made their way to shore.

When RNLI Lifeboat B762 arrived on scene, contact was made with the casualty; a teenage male (about 17 years old) holidaying at Pett Level. He confirmed that he had been out on his kayak which had been holed, causing it to fill with water and sink - his only option was to swim back to shore without the kayak.

RNLI Lifeboat B762 left the scene at 3.35 pm, on their way back to station, the crew of Rye Harbour RNLI Lifeboat recovered the part sunken kayak and arrived back at station at 4.15 pm.

Richard Tollett, RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager for Rye Harbour RNLI Lifeboat Station, said: 'Over half of the 8000 RNLI lifeboat launches each year are to leisure craft users. With this in mind the RNLI have launched a leisure marine fundraising campaign - 'Serious Fun!' Serious Fun aims to increase committed, financial support for the charity among all watersports enthusiasts, so they can enjoy the water confident in the knowledge that the RNLI is never far away should things go wrong. More information is available at www.rnli.org.uk/seriousfun.'

Sunday, 26 July 2009

Rye Harbour Lifeboat B727, assists the Dutch Yacht 'Sneeuwgans'

Rye Harbour Lifeboat StationRye Harbour RNLI Lifeboat B727'Commander and Mrs Rodney Wells' was tasked by Dover Coastguard at 12.50 pm to go to the assistance of the Dutch yacht 'Sneeuwgans', a 9 metre yacht suffering from rudder problems. Lifeboat B727 arrived at the casualty, 1 mile South East of Rye Harbour entrance at 12.55 pm, and proceeded to escort the casualty to Harbour. At 1.26 pm the casualty was put along side the jetty at Rye Harbour.

The yacht 'Sneeuwgans' set sail from Kwintsheul, Holland, on passage to Rye Harbour. The yacht tried to enter the harbour too early and hit the sand bar in the mouth of the river. The skipper of the yacht decided to return to deeper water to assess the damage to the yacht. The yacht's steering, whilst damaged was not totally useless. Rye Harbour Lifeboat was all geared to undertake an emergency tow should things go wrong when the yacht 'Sneeuwgans' entered the harbour on the flood tide.

Richard Tollett, RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager at Rye Harbour RNLI Lifeboat Station, said: 'The RNLI is a registered charity that saves lives at sea. It provides, on-call, a 24-hour lifeboat search and rescue service to 100 nautical miles out from the coast of the United kingdom and Republic of Ireland. The RNLI which provides nine out of ten sea rescue launches, continues to rely on voluntary contributions and legacies for its income. If the tables were turned, the Dutch Lifeboat service would come to the aid of a UK registered yacht.'

Monday, 13 July 2009

Fundraising Treasurer at Rye Harbour, Sally Bayly is awarded the RNLI'S Bronze Badge

Sally Bayly, Fundraising Treasurer at Rye Harbour is awarded the RNLI's Bronze Badge Sally Bayly, the Fundraising Treasurer at Rye Harbour RNLI Lifeboat Station was presented with the RNLI's Bronze Badge by Peter Huxtable MBE, coxswain of Shoreham RNLI Lifeboat, on Saturday 20 June 2009 at the RNLI Lifeboat College at Poole in recognition of her individual services. Following the presentation, there was a tour of the Lifeboat College where Sally and the other awardees were able to see the training simulator and the training pool.

Sally joined the Rye Harbour and District Branch (formerly known as Rye, Winchelsea and District Branch) in November 2003 as the Branch Treasurer, a position that she held up until Wednesday 11 June 2008 when Rye Harbour and District Branch merged with Rye Harbour Station Branch when Sally became the Fundraising Treasurer for Rye Harbour Lifeboat Station.

Sally Bayly, Fundraising Treasurer for Rye Harbour RNLI Lifeboat Stations, said: 'I was suprised and chuffed to bits! I really felt quite honoured, actually. When I went to Poole, I was amazed to find out (even more than I knew already) how brave and self-sacrificing the RNLI Volunteer crews are.'

Peter Huxtable MBE, RNLI Coxswain for Shoreham RNLI Lifeboat, said: 'It was an honour to present the award. It was nice to meet Sally and the other volunteers who help raise the money, which enables the RNLI to continue saving lives at sea.'

Mrs Priscilla Ryan, President for Rye Harbour RNLI Lifeboat Station, said: 'I'm pleased that Sally has been awarded the RNLI's Bronze Badge in recognition of all that she does for the RNLI. Everyone at Rye Harbour Lifeboat Station, the members of the former Rye Harbour and District Branch and all of her friends in Rye send their congratulations on receiving this prestigious award.'

Photo: Copyright Mark Howell 2009 (Used with the kind permission of Mark Howell)

Friday, 3 July 2009

Angling Boat ' Anya' broken down 6.5 miles South East of Rye Harbour entrance

Rye Harbour RNLI Lifeboat B727 'Commander and Mrs Rodney Wells' launched on service at 5.14 pm to the angling boat 'Anya' which had broken down six and a half miles south east of Rye Harbour entrance. At 5.27 pm RNLI Lifeboat B727 arrived on scene and eight minutes later, had the angling boat 'Anya' in tow and were heading back to harbour.


The angling boat left harbour earlier in the day for a days angling, when it came to return to harbour they were unable to restart the boat - there was no spark to the engine. The skipper decided to call Dover Coastguard and request assistance.

Richard Tollett, RNLI Lifeboat Operation Manager for RNLI Lifeboat, said: 'It makes a change to go and rescue a fishing boat this time of year, as we would usually be out returning inflatables to the shore at Camber Sands. The RNLI is an independent charity reliant upon volunteers. Our lifeboat service is funded by voluntary donations not HM Government.'

Sunday, 28 June 2009

Rye Harbour RNLI Lifeboat launches to the aid of broken down jet ski

Rye Harbour RNLI Lifeboat B727 'Commander and Mrs Rodney Wells' launched on service at 3.23 pm today (28 June) to a broken down jet ski with two occupants a quarter of a mile east of Rye Harbour entrance off Camber Sands.


Rye Harbour RNLI Lifeboat B727 arrived along side the casualty at 3.26 pm and four minutes later had the casualty under tow and were heading back to harbour. At 3.43 pm Lifeboat B727 landed the casualty on the public slip at Rye Harbour.


The occupants of the jet ski had gone afloat earlier in the day with friends and were having fun off of Camber Sands. They were pulling an inflatable doughnut which one of the occupants would ride whilst being towed by the jet ski. The tow rope got caught in the jet causing the break down.


Richard Tollett, RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager for Rye Harbour RNLI Lifeboat, said: ‘This is one of the seasonal rescues that we make here at Rye Harbour, what looks like fun has the potential to end in tragedy. Over half of the 8000 RNLI lifeboat launches each year are to leisure craft users'.


'With this in mind the RNLI have launched a leisure marine fundraising campaign - 'Serious Fun!' Serious Fun aims to increase committed, financial support for the charity among all watersports enthusiasts, so they can enjoy the water confident in the knowledge that the RNLI is never far away should things go wrong. More information is available at http://www.rnli.org.uk/seriousfun'
.

Saturday, 27 June 2009

Rye Harbour RNLI Lifeboat launches to yacht with a broken mast

Rye Harbour RNLI Lifeboat B727 'Commander and Mrs Rodney Wells' launched on service at 3.19 pm today 27 June) at the request of Dover Coastguard. The lifeboat launched to a 25ft yacht that was suffering with a broken mast, one mile south of Rye Harbour entrance.

RNLI Lifeboat B727 arrived alongside the casualty at 3.28 pm; the mast had snapped at deck level and the ropes had wrapped around the propeller. At 3.38 pm Lifeboat B727 had the yacht 'Folk Music' under tow and were making their way back to harbour. RNLI Lifeboat B727 and the casualty entered the harbour at 4.03 pm and were making their way back to the casualties moorings at Rock Channel, Rye. Whilst towing the yacht 'Folk Music' back to her moorings Rye Harbour Lifeboat B727 passed a sailing dinghy that appeared to be having problems; the lifeboat crew checked with the sailors - who said that they were OK. The yacht 'Folk Music' was placed back on her moorings at 4.29 pm.

At 4.34 pm, Rye Harbour RNLI Lifeboat B727 was tasked to assist the sailing dinghy 'sail number: 1357' which had capsized in the River Rother and the occupants were struggling. At 4.40 pm Lifeboat B727 was alongside the dinghy and had them under tow four minutes later. The sailing dinghy was put on the public slipway at Rye Harbour at 5 pm. It turned out that whilst the dinghy had been knocking against the wall of the river, the outer hull of the twin hulled dinghy had split and water had flooded between the two hulls - causing problems with up-righting the dinghy.

Tony Edwards, RNLI Deputy Launching Authority for Rye Harbour RNLI Lifeboat, said: ‘boating and watersports should be fun but as we all know, even the best prepared can run into unexpected problems. With this in mind, the RNLI has produced a range of safety information designed to help users stay safe. For more information visit www.rnli.org.uk/seasafety .'

Rye Harbour RNLI Lifeboat launches to six people cut off by the tide

Rye Harbour RNLI Lifeboat B727 'Commander and Mrs Rodney Wells' launched at 5.05 pm, just five minutes after returning to station following two earlier shouts. The lifeboat was tasked by Dover Coastguard to go to the aid of six people (2 adults and 4 children) cut off by the tide under the cliffs at Fairlight.

At 5.23 pm RNLI Lifeboat B727 arrived on scene and a member of the Lifeboat Crew was put ashore to assess the situation and the level of assistance required. The adults informed the crew member that they were all safe and well, advising that they knew that the tide was coming in; they told the crew member that they had told the fishermen near by that they were alright.

The member of the crew explained that it was another person who had seen them cut off by the tide and reported it to Dover Coastguard and not the fishermen.

Richard Tollett, RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager for Rye Harbour RNLI Lifeboat, said: ‘this is a classic incident of a false alarm with good intent. When at the beach, you should keep an eye on the tide, being careful not to get cut off by the tide when walking along the shore. The sea is unpredictable and what looks like fun could end in tragedy.’

Great Grandmother, Penny, undertakes 200 mile coastal walk to raise funds for the RNLI

Whilst on a world cruise aboard the 'Black Watch', Penny Pennison-Camus attended a lecture about the Royal National Lifeboat Institution and was so deeply moved by the work carried out by the RNLI and the thousands of people saved each year; she decided to undertake a 200 mile sponsored walk to raise money for the RNLI. Penny paid a visit to Rye Harbour RNLI Lifeboat station today (26 June) at 7 pm. Penny, a Great Grandmother, set off from Whitstable on her fundraising adventure on the 15 June and will be finishing at Lymington on the 15 July.


Penny, whilst at Rye Harbour RNLI Lifeboat Station, said: 'I was so deeply moved by the fact that so many people are rescued by the RNLI each year and yet receive no funding from the Government, having to rely entirely on donations. Although being a Great Grandmother, I enjoy very good health and love walking. I felt that I wanted to raise some funds and thought that walking would be a good way of raising funds for the RNLI. If anyone would like to sponsor me on my journey, they can make a donation at www.justgiving.com/penny-pennison-camus .’

Richard Tollett, Lifeboat Operations Manager at Rye Harbour RNLI Lifeboat Station, said: 'It's amazing that people, Like Penny, undertake adventures to raise money for the RNLI, the charity that saves lives at sea. RNLI volunteer lifeboat crews provide a 24 hour search and rescue service around the coasts of the UK and the Republic of Ireland, rescuing on average 21 people every day from the water, in situations which are often difficult and sometimes dangerous. The RNLI is independent from Government, relying on donations for its income.'




Penny's schedule:

Saturday 27 June - Hastings

Monday 29 June - Bexhill
Tuesday 30 June - Pevensey
Wednesday 1 July - Eastbourne
Thursday 2 July - Newhaven
Friday 3 July - Hove
Saturday 4 July - Worthing

Monday 6 July - Littlehampton
Tuesday 7 July - Bognor
Wednesday 8 July - Chichester
Thursday 9 July - Havant
Friday 10 July - Gosport
Saturday 11 July - Fishbourne

Monday 13 July - Cowes
Tuesday 14 July - Yarmouth
Wednesday 15 July - Lymington

Wednesday, 24 June 2009

Boat breaks down on maiden voyage

Rye Harbour RNLI Lifeboat B727 'Commander and Mrs Rodney Wells' launched on service on Tuesday 23 June 2009 at 1.30 pm to go to the aid of a small angling boat with one occupant, suffering engine failure one mile south of Winchelsea Beach. The alarm was raised by the owner of the boat, who contacted Hendrik Ruysch, a launcher at Rye Harbour Lifeboat Station and the owner of Rye Harbour Marine.

RNLI Lifeboat B727 arrived a the casualty at 1.36 pm. A member of the Crew from Rye Harbour Lifeboat transferred to the casualty and the boat was taken in tow. At 1.40 pm the lifeboat and casualty preceded back to harbour. The casualty was placed on the public slipway at Rye Harbour at 2 pm and the Lifeboat returned to station, after being washed down and refuelled, RNLI Lifeboat B727 was ready for service at 2.15 pm.

Tony Edwards, RNLI Deputy Launching Authority for Rye Harbour RNLI Lifeboat, said: ‘This was a strait forward, text book tow, this is due to the crew spending many hours training for such an incident. In this case the owner had checked the engine before putting to sea and had a VHF radio, but was unfortunate when the engines wouldn't restart to come back to harbour.’

‘20 fishermen perish annually in British waters, that's why the RNLI have developed MOB Guardian - an automated alert system that can help take the Search our of Search and Rescue.’

Thursday, 18 June 2009

RNLI Chairman visits Rye Harbour Lifeboat station

Admiral the Lord Boyce GCB OBE DL visited Rye Harbour RNLI Lifeboat Station on Wednesday afternoon to meet the crew, station personnel and fundraisers to thank them for their considerable voluntary contribution to the RNLI. Lord Boyce's visit to Rye Harbour was concluded with a tour of the station.

During his two day visit to the south east, Lord Boyce also visited Whitstable, Margate, Ramsgate, Walmer, Dover, Littlestone-on-Sea and Dungeness RNLI lifeboat stations.

RNLI Chairman Lord Boyce said: ‘It’s great to be back in the south east and meet so many volunteer lifeboat crews’

‘Volunteers are the backbone of the RNLI and to meet so many is an honour and a privilege. We cannot put a value on the time and dedication they put in – such is the amount – but what we can do is to highly praise them. The RNLI could not operate without them.’

Photo courtesy of RNLI/Nathan Williams

Thursday, 11 June 2009

Station Open Day a great success

The annual station open day held on Saturday 6 June 2009 was a great success, raising over £737. RNLI Lifeboat B727, Commander and Mrs Rodney Wells and launching tractor were on view and several rescue demonstrations were carried out in the river. Dungeness RNLI All Weather Lifeboat made a visit to the station and saw several visitors having a tour of the Lifeboat.

During the day the Cinque Port Morris Men danced several dances and even Stormy Stan the RNLI Storm Force mascot joined in with the dancing. Following the last dance a cheque for £200 was presented to the station; the money was raised during the Morris dancing season in 2008. The Cinque Port Morris Men achieved a first for them by dancing in the lifeboat house.

There was a cake and general raffle, tombola, bric-a-brac stall, food and refreshment and the souvenir shop was open.

Richard Tollett, RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager at Rye Harbour RNLI Lifeboat, said: ‘It was a really good day. There was a steady flow of people visiting the event. This year was a great success and it was made even better by the Cinque Port Morris Men.’

Peter, Squire of the Cinque Port Morris Men, said: ‘We picked two charities to support, one of them is the RNLI and the other one is a Children's Charity near Ashford, Kent. We chose the RNLI as several of us are sailors. We couldn't believe that the RNLI doesn't receive any Government funding.’

Steve Tollett, Chairman Rye Harbour RNLI Lifeboat Management Group, said: ‘I would like to thank the Cinque Port Morris Men for their entertaining dances and also for the very generous donation of £200. It is donation like this that enable the RNLI to go on continuing to save lives at sea. During 2008, it cost on average £378,000 per day to run the RNLI.’

Monday, 1 June 2009

Busy afternoon for Rye Harbour RNLI Lifeboat B727

RNLI Lifeboat B727 'Commander and Mrs Rodney Wells' launched on service at 4.33 pm on 31/05/2009 after a report of an adult male swimmer in difficulties 500 metres east of Rye Harbour entrance. When Lifeboat B727 arrived on scene at 4.40 pm, they were advised by Dover Coastguard that they were now looking for a seven year old boy and a three year old girl who had been reported as missing in the water by their mother (the partner of the original swimmer in difficulties). Rye Harbour Lifeboat B727 commenced a parallel search from west to east along with Pett Rescue boat and Camber Coastguard.

At 5.12 pm, Dover Coastguard tasked Rye Harbour RNLI Lifeboat and Pett Rescue boat to proceed to the western end of Camber Sands and commence searching west to east at approximate 100 yard spans to look for a black and red inflatable with three Brazilian male occupants. It was at this time that Dover Coastguard tasked Littlestone RNLI Lifeboat B785 'Fred Clarke' to search Camber Sands from east to west and the Coastguard Spotter aeroplane GBCEN was also tasked to assist the search.

At 5.20 pm Rye Harbour Lifeboat B727 located a yellow and blue inflatable with two male occupants - after confirmation with Dover Coastguard that this was a different inflatable, the occupants were spoken to by the crew of the lifeboat and taken back to shore. At approximately 5.45 Dover Coastguard advised all parties involved in the search that all casualties had been found safe ashore and that the RNLI Lifeboats B727 and B785, Pett Rescue boat could return to their stations.

As Rye Harbour RNLI Lifeboat B727 was being put back on its carriage she was tasked at 5.48 pm to an inflatable with two teenage occupants (aged about 14 years old, which appeared to be in difficulty just east of Rye Harbour entrance. The inflatable and its occupants were returned safely to shore. RNLI Lifeboat B727 returned to station at 6.15 pm.

Richard Tollett, RNLI Operations Manager at Rye Harbour RNLI Lifeboat, said: ‘It looks like the silly season is finally here. The Met Office are predicting a really hot summer and travel experts are saying that many people will be holidaying at home, we are prepared for a very busy summer. The RNLI rescue an average of four young people every day, SAFE is aimed at helping children to remember key safety messages. Remember SAFE (Spot the dangers Always go with a friend Find and follow the safety signs and flags Emergency? Stick up your hand and shout or ring 999 or 112) for more information visit www.rnli.org.uk/shorething .’

Dover Coastguard advised that there were over 20,000 people on Camber Sands on 31/05/2009. There were 17 incidents on 31/05/2009 (11 missing children, 3 people in distress in the water & 3 inflatables in difficulties).

Monday, 25 May 2009

I had the fortunate experience of being one of two probationers to 'pass out' as full crew members today after being assessed by the Divisional Assessor against the competencies required. The day consisted of practical exercises such as navigation and veering down with a Q&A session once we were back in the boat house. This was the culmination of over a years work for both of us, including a weeks instruction at the excellent Lifeboat College. I would like to use this medium to thank my fellow crew for their help and support during this year -- everything that I have learnt is due to their willingness to pass on information - Thank you. We now look forward to our station open day on 6 June when there will be a masterclass in Morris Dancing!!! See you there.

Monday, 18 May 2009

Peasmarsh & District W. I. Choir concert with Holly Gurney



£350 Donation from Peasmarsh & District W. I. Choir

Rye Harbour RNLI Lifeboat Station are the main beneficiary of the 2009 concert hosted by Peasmarsh and District W. I. Choir with Holly Gurney, which was held at Rye Methodist Church on Friday 8th May. The concert raised a total of £460, enabling the Choir to donate £350 (after expenses) to Rye Harbour RNLI Lifeboat Station. The evening had a varied programme, starting with 'If with all our Hearts'. During the concert Holly Gurney performed two violin solo's and there was a reading by Mary Gaddie 'April (with apologies to John Masefield)'. Following the concert there were refreshments, cake stall and a raffle.

Directing was Lois Benton, the accompanist was Jennifer Als and the choir members: Pam Ascott, Pamela Baker, Tommy Banyard, Sarah Baverstock, Gail Brooks, Linda Byrne, Doris Carree, Heather Coote, Audrey Dent, Mary Gaddie, Shirley Gibson, Betty Paine and Barbara Vane.

Richard Tollett, Operations Manager for Rye Harbour RNLI Lifeboat Station, said: ‘What an unexpected surprise, it was a thoroughly enjoyable evening.’

Lois Benton, Director Peasmarsh and District Choir, said: ‘It was a full and varied programme ranging from Church to folk to popular numbers from West Side Story.’

Steve Tollett, Chairman for Rye Harbour RNLI Lifeboat Management Group, said: 'It was a very enjoyable evening and nice to see so many people attending the event.'

Sunday, 10 May 2009

Rescue: Speed boat drifting half a mile off Fairlight

Rye Harbour RNLI lifeboat B727 'Commander and Mrs Rodney Wells' launched at 5.46 pm to go to the aid of the speed boat 'Tonic', suffering engine failure and drifting half a mile off of the Coastguard lookout station at Fairlight. RNLI lifeboat B727 arrived alongside the casualty at 6.09 pm taking them in tow, RNLI lifeboat B727 arrived back at station with the casualty and the four occupants at 7 pm.

Rye Harbour RNLI lifeboat launched following a request by Dover Coastguard to go to the aid of the speed boat 'Tonic'. The alarm was raised by the owner, Tony Voller, who telephoned Dover Coastguard requesting help.

Tony Edwards, RNLI Deputy Launching Authority at Rye Harbour RNLI Lifeboat station, said: ‘on this occasion everything turned out well, with no-one suffering any adverse effects. If you have an engine in your craft then the RNLI strongly recommend that you know the basics of starting, running and maintaining it. Appropriate spares should be carried on board and fuel should be calculated on approximately 1/3 for the outward trip, 1/3 for the return and 1/3 as spare. More Sea Safety information can be found at http://www.rnli.org.uk/seasafety’

Friday, 1 May 2009


Has anyone else encountered this individual when in Poole.  I was walking along thinking 'lifeboat thoughts' and was ambushed by this chap.  I've gotta feeling he is one of those lifeboat man wannabees.  Anyway, just be careful, he has a wild look in his eye and just stands there shouting 'BANG'.  Be afraid......

Sunday, 12 April 2009

Thank you for the money...

On behalf of everyone at Rye Harbour RNLI Lifeboat station I would like to thank The Holly Tree Pub at Lewisham for their £141.38 bar bottle collection. It is donations like this that enable the RNLI and their volunteer crews to save lives at sea.

Wednesday, 8 April 2009




Last night was our divisional inspection.  Our training manager organised a 'kayak rescue' off Pett slip.  I was the diabetic kayaker and threw myself into the oggin in  the hope that the lifeboat would succesfully make a low water launch and rescue me....no problem.  Even in very good conditions though and with a bright orange kayak, it is surprising how hard it can be to see someone in the water.  Anyway, all went well and my kayak and I were safely returned to the boat house.  We have just received a cd of photos from our introduction course at the lifeboat college last week so I thought I would add some to this post as it brings back excellent memories.  

Saturday, 4 April 2009

ILB Intro Course


This last week saw two of us attend an ILB Intro course at the RNLI College in Poole. For us this was the culmination of a years hard work as probationers learning the ropes. The College is a fantastic environment for learning and the course was one of the most enjoyable things I have done. The instructors were superb and very patient with us. The week started with capsize drill in the sea survival pool (see pics). We both ended up sitting in crew position 3 which is probably the most sporting, but it really was an excellent experience. The rest of the week saw a mixture of theory and practical leading up to both a writen assessment and practical boat handling assessment. During the week we covered subjects such as; veering down, rough sea handling, IRPCS, role of the crew, navigation and MUCH more. The down side is that I have become used to eating like a king at every meal and my dry suit appears to have 'shrunk'!! to anyone who is booked to go on this course - you will thoroughly enjoy it. It now just remains to get back to the station and await the call of the pager.








Wednesday, 25 March 2009

Body recovered 2 miles off Winchelsea Beach

Rye Harbour RNLI Lifeboat B727, 'Commander and Mrs Rodney Wells' launched on Saturday 21/03/2009 at approximately 2.45 pm. Dover Coastguard requested the launch of the Lifeboat to recover a person floating in the water, who had been found 2 miles off of Winchelsea Beach by a local fishing boat.


The fishing boat stayed with the casualty until Rye Harbour Lifeboat arrived on scene 15 minutes later. The casualty was recovered into the lifeboat and returned to station. The casualty was pronounced dead on arrival, by Paramedics who were waiting at the Lifeboat Station. The Police and Coroner were in attendance at the time.

Earlier in the day, a joint Police/Coastguard search had taken place after a pile of clothing had been found on the shore at Winchelsea Beach.

Richard Tollett, Lifeboat Operations Manager at Rye Harbour RNLI Lifeboat Station, said: ‘This is the less glamorous side of what our volunteer crews do. Whilst it's not obligatory to go and collect a body, we are very conscious that there will be relatives somewhere who have lost a loved one.’

Sunday, 22 March 2009

Souvenir Shop opening times for April

Saturday 4
Sunday 5
Saturday 18
Sunday 19

The souvenir shop is open between 11 am to 3 pm

Monday, 9 March 2009

BANG!! Wasn't expecting that!!!! Like I say nice chap (but a bit dim) ;-)
Mmmmm  our tractor driver - nice chap- but frustrated fisherman.  He'd been watching the fisherman on the other side of the river and thought he'd cast his net and see what would happen............

Wednesday, 4 March 2009


Also...................a reminder that on this day in 1824 the National Institution for the Preservation of Life from Shipwreck was founded by Sir William Hillary (see pic), the predecessor of our RNLI.  Happy Birthday and MANY happy returns.  Over 137 000 lives saved to date!
Hello everyone, sorry for the lapse in posts but I like to include pics with blogs and have been without a camera.  Anyway, to start off with, I thought I would post a pic of the Rye Harbour 'nerve centre' (no, not the Inkermans or the social club) our rather fine looking boathouse.  This is where we keep our recently returned ILB and tractor, and where we train during the week.  It is also where we drink copious amounts of milky hot chocolate (only joking LOM ;-).  We have not long received our boat back after extensive refit and she certainly does look magnificent - all ready to face the imminent summer and holiday season.  I will get some pics of the boat up next, but if there is anything in particular that the readership would like to see, please let me know.