Thanks to Eastbourne Historic Vehicle Club

Last Thursday 24th January, members of the Pett Level Independent Rescue Boat committee were invited along to a presentation evening by the Eastbourne Historic Vehicle Club.

The club runs lots of activities, shows and festivals and invited us along to receive a share of funds raised at the Hellingly Festival of Transport, which took place last August. The event itself took place over the same infamous weekend as our own Open Day and as our own supporters know, the weather on the Sunday was rather against outdoor events!

However, thankfully for the EHVC, their festival ran over the whole weekend so the fair weather days meant it was well attended, as club Chairman, Steve Young shared:

“The 2018 Festival of Transport last August was blessed with fine weather for two days out of three, with the Sunday, unfortunately, a ‘little wet’. However, the show was enjoyed by entrants and visitors alike and we had a great weekend. We are delighted to maintain our annual donations to local charities, which over the last 43 years have totalled a figure approaching £200,000.”

The EHCV are now busy planning 2019’s big event, the 44th Festival of Transport which will be held at Broad Farm. But meanwhile, at Thursday’s presentation, cheques were presented by EHVC Vice-President, Mike Bray, to representatives of St.Wilfrid’s Hospice (£500), The Friends of Eastbourne Hospital (£500), KSS Air Ambulance Trust (£500) and the Pett Level Rescue Boat Association (£250).  Other donations have been made to Eastbourne RNLI (£250) and local Hellingly organisations.

190124 Donation Presentation, Eastbourne Historic Vehicle Club

The £250 donation is much appreciated and will almost certainly be going in the direction of supporting our own historic vehicle – our reserve launch vehicle – as it is refurbished to become fit for the very specific purposes of getting our boats safely launched and recovered along the ever-changing Pett Level Beach.

Everyone here at Pett Level Independent Rescue Boat would like to say a very big thank you to all concerned at the EHVC and those who supported the 2018 festival. We really couldn’t do it without this kind of support, so thank you very much.

Header image (L to R): John Brooker & John Pulfer (PLIRB), Mike Bray (EHVC Vice-President), David Martin.

In-post image (L to R): Pett Level Rescue Boat Association, Mike Bray (EHVC Vice-President), Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance Trust, St. Wilfrid’s Hospice, Friends of Eastbourne Hospital and PLIRB again far right.

Thanks to Dave Bone, Secretary EHVC for photographs and permissions.

A Fine Day for Fixing & Keeping the Rescue Boat Afloat

As you can see from the photo, this Sunday we had a beautiful morning for training. The low tide and fair conditions meant that the beach was just beautiful –  or at least it was at 9 a.m. when the photo was taken! The same couldn’t really be said for later in the day.

As far as work to do and training is concerned, this time of year it tends to be quieter for us. As an independent rescue boat though, we have to do all our own mechanical maintenance so thankfully our volunteers who are also professional mechanics were able to take the time to carry out much-needed maintenance to our boats and launch vehicle*, so that we remain shout-ready whatever the time of year.

So, our launch vehicle has been topped up with fluids and greased and our large boat has had its radio fixed. This was a longer job than anticipated as the radio had to be removed, sent away for repairs and then refitted to the boat. Then of course it’s a case of ensuring everything is water-proofed and ship shape ready for the boat’s next outing.

Of course, our volunteer crew trainees weren’t forgotten, as a bright but brisk day offered the chance to get our trainees out in the cold and used to some of the harsher conditions we operate in. Trainees are all at different stages, with all working their way through the training schedule and being put through their paces with the various skills and tasks needed to be competent in the boat and in rescue situations.

This week, towing procedures continued to be an ongoing focus, as many trainees still need to get signed off on these skills. There was also a chance to look at flares and how they are used in accordance with safety and search protocols.

* If you’d like to know what’s happening with our reserve launch vehicle, please check out our GoFundMe Reserve Launch Vehicle page, which is where you’ll find the latest update.

And don’t forget, if you’re looking for a volunteer role which offers a way to help others in 2019, come and talk to us down at the boat house on a Sunday morning between 9 and 12, or contact us through the website or our social media. Even if you don’t feel you have the ‘sea legs’ for it, there are plenty of other tasks for base crew, or committee and support roles, so do stop by to share your skills and time with us. 

It All Adds Up Thanks to Fairlight Stores and the Fairlight Community

We had a lovely activity to do as part of Sunday’s morning down at the base … a visit up to see friends of the Pett Level Independent Rescue Boat, Graeme and Leonie Gambrell of Fairlight Stores.

Graeme and Leonie always give pride of place at the front of the shop counter to a large donation bottle on behalf of the PLIRB, and the recent emptying of the bottle resulted in the biggest donation total every received from this particular bottle. So it was with high spirits and much appreciation that we popped up to say hello and to present a certificate of thanks to Graeme and Leonie, pictured above with David Martin, Chairman; Sarah Harris, Tornado Helm and John Brooker, Trustee and Base Crew.

And of course, although it’s Graeme and Leonie who give us the spot on the counter, look after the bottle and help us to raise much-needed funds, it’s members of the Fairlight community who are customers of the Fairlight Stores who do much of the donating. From the small change after making a purchase to popping a bit of extra cash as a donation into the bottle, the total this time around really does show that everything which goes into the bottle really adds up, so here at the PLIRB we’d like to say we’re extremely grateful to the Fairlight community for supporting us, especially those who have made donations to the bottle and who support Fairlight Stores in their support of us.

Thank you all very much.

 

 

 

A New Year of Training and Beach Safety Begins

A very Happy New Year to all of our visitors and supporters! Hard to believe we’re already a couple of training sessions into the new year, with both boats taking to the water!

Yes, our in-house crew training for 2019 has already got off to a flying start. OK, so that should be ‘floating’ but sometimes there’s a need for speed, which means our boats can literally be flying over the waves, as the header photo shows. 

*This photo was contributed by friend of the PLIRB, Gordon Butchers, who happened to see our training from the shore. Thanks for sharing Gordon!*

Our current focus for training in January is supporting trainees to learn techniques for rigging up tows and ensuring safe interactions between boats. Having two boats means we’re able to practice long tows, longside jumps from boat to boat, and management of the boat and crew positioning when moving alongside to other vessels.

This is vital training of techniques used when we’re involved in supporting a vessel which is drifting. It also offers essential opportunities to practice the transfer of our crew across to a stricken vessel so that first aid support can be given as needed. Towing a vessel is a surprisingly common call-out for us, so getting our trainees fully competent in all aspects of this type of rescue is a priority.

low tide double boat launch, training, beach rescue Low tide double boat launch Low tide double boat launch, rescue boat low tide double boat launch, beach safety Low tide boat recovery, rescue boat

Although our launch photos show a beautiful low tide, this type of training and rescue is extremely seasonal as we prepare for those unpredictably high spring tides and weather conditions. Already there are predictions of snow towards the end of the month and possibly into February, and where there’s significant snow there’s also the high risk of surface water and river flooding when the snow starts to melt.

With this in mind, all of our volunteers – established and trainees – train regularly so that we can be assistance-ready if our inshore services are needed in the event of inshore flooding, as well as for our offshore rescue support.

So, if it’s your new year resolution to get actively involved in supporting a community charity, don’t forget it’s easy to contact us through this website or our Twitter and Facebook threads, to find out more about volunteering with us in 2019.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This photo was contributed by friend of the PLIRB, Graham Butchers, who happened to see our training from the shore. Thanks for sharing Graham!