Two Rescue Launches in One Evening

The summer season has begun with a busy evening. On Monday July 1st, the Pett Level Independent Rescue Boat shore and boat crews were tasked to assist in two emergencies on the local coastline.

At 17:38, the Pulfer boat launched in response to a request from Solent Coastguard. This followed reports of windsurfer who was possibly in difficulty, approximately a mile out to sea from the slipway.

Our crews assembled and scramble extremely quickly in response to pagers going off. This facilitated a speedy launch within minutes of initial reports. Once in position, the boat crew was requested by Solent to carry out an expanding box search. This search specifically targets locating a person in the water.

At 18:00, the boat was given new directions, searching farther along Cliff End, heading westwards towards Ecclesbourne Glen. Following this, it was identified that the windsurfer had already come safely out of the water and crews were stood down.

At 19:06, teams were tasked on a second emergency. In response, the Pulfer boat re-launched with change of crew, to assist Hastings Coastguard Rescue Team. This followed a report of a person at potential risk of suicide towards the cliff edge in the area of Old Fairlight. Thankfully, the individual was assisted to safety by police at the cliff top. Our crews were then stood down and boat ashore at 19:35.

Also involved in these incidents were Hastings Coastguard rescue, Rye Bay Coastguard Rescue team, both lifeboats from RNLI Hastings and Search and Rescue Helicopter colleagues from Lydd (Rescue 163).

Remember, if you see someone in trouble at sea, on the beach coastline or on the cliff top, please dial 999 and ask for the Coastguard.

Taking a Team Moment

A sunny Sunday morning … but it’s not just about the training.

This Sunday’s training out on the water didn’t all go as planned. It was one of those mornings when the effects of the tide and necessary maintenance and checks on boats and vehicles of course took priority! In turn, this impacts on the type of activities we carry out  during our Sunday morning sessions.

As a result, this Sunday was much more about ‘getting sorted’ vehicle-wise, boathouse-wise and preparation for the summer season with a busy beach-wise! As usual, the team all pulled together to make sure that the necessary tasks were carried out. In Sunday sessions like this, this is done in ways which still accommodate the sharing of knowledge and experience across the team. For example, full crew volunteers are particularly great at showing new volunteers how tasks are carried out safely and efficiently, whether on the boat or in the base.

A team of volunteers is still a ‘working’ team

Watching all of this take place, it’s great to see the levels of teamwork and hard work which goes into making our independent rescue service so efficient and diligent. Of course, not every team member is there every week – several of our members weren’t available this weekend – but that’s all part of what happens and it’s another way in which the overall PLIRB team has a progressive and constantly adapting dynamic.

In fact, one of the real strengths of our team is that individuals step in and out of roles as required. For instance, someone could be leading teams or sub-teams one week and being trained in a new task or activity the next. This variety is great preparation for ‘Shout’ situations, when the team at base and on the boats will rely on whatever combination of individuals (and their skills) are able to get to the boathouse quickly in time to launch.

It’s a more than a little sad for us that several of our younger volunteers (all full crew members) will be moving away after the summer. We’re glad to see them taking their next steps to progress their future careers, but they will be sorely missed. This is one of the reasons we took the opportunity to grab a quick suited-and-booted ‘some of the team’ photo, even though not all of the crew were around.

All of these younger crew members readily share that being part of the Pett Level Independent Rescue Boat has helped them in forging their chosen career paths. Thankfully for us,  they’ll be around for a few weeks yet and they’re keen to share their knowledge and to help other would-be volunteers to find out what it’s like to be part of our boat and base crews. So if you would like to find out more, please do come along to the boathouse from 9 a.m. any Sunday and chat to us.

 

A Visitor & A Big Thank You

This weekend we had a lovely visitor! Tony Heath came along to receive a big thank you from the PLIRB.

An enthusiastic sailor, Tony Heath recently retired his boat . Tony’s wife, Diana, suggested he might want to donate some of his equipment somewhere it would be appreciated and, thankfully for Pett Level Independent Rescue Boat, Tony chose us. And it’s true to say that we are really feeling the benefits from his decision and from the wealth of equipment he’s donated to us, including ropes and a small Zodiac boat, complete with oars.

This Zodiac boat has especially been a great extension to our training. It’s perfect for the crew to use in rescue training scenarios. Trainees can use it to row out to sea then, once offshore, the oars are taken out of the water to simulate a ‘drifting’ vessel. Crews then practice safe rescue of this smaller-sized vessel. In fact, we carried out this type of rescue last year, in particular a group of persons drifting out to open sea from the Camber area.

At the height of the season, inflatables drifting out to sea is a common call-out for us in our efforts to keep the public safe at the beach. A ‘drifting’ Zodiac is a good approximation for an inflatable of various sizes and shapes, so it’s great to have it for additional practice.

Our eagle-eyed supporters may also have spotted that the Zodiac was used in this way for the sea display last weekend at our Open Day.

This weekend it was Tony’s turn to be part of the team, when he joined crew on our Pulfer boat for a pre-training excursion. This involved a trip along the water to Cliff End, plus some interactions with the smaller Tornado boat. Tony’s wife was also able to enjoy spending time with the base crew, watching from the Look Out area of the boathouse.

Tony Heath, equipment donation, boat visitTony Heath, equipment donation, independent rescue boat charityTony Heath, equipment donation, independent rescue boat charity

We’d like to say a very public thank you to Tony for his equipment donations. These have made a big difference to us in terms of training. By supplying equipment we might otherwise have had to pay for, Tony has also saved us a significant amount of funds. Thank you so much, Tony!

Thanks to Robin Hood Bonfire Society, Icklesham


Recently, we were delighted to receive an invite to the Robin Hood Bonfire Society’s presentation and quiz night up at the Robin Hood in Icklesham. So on Wednesday 27th February, off we went …

Kevin Wall, RHBS Chairman & Shaun O’Hara, PLIRB Helm

Several charities and local causes, including ourselves, were invited to the presentation and we all benefitted from the extraordinary amount of work carried out by the Robin Hood Bonfire Society. All of the funds were raised at 2018’s fabulous bonfire display and from their Christmas raffle

After a brief talk from RHBS Chairman, Kevin Wall, presentations and donations were made as follows:

  • £500 to the Armed Forces Bikers, who marshalled the event.
  • £500 to the Sussex 4×4 Response team, who supported the procession and the event.
  • £500 to the Pett Level Independent Rescue Boat, who staffed the First Aid tent at the event.
  • £450 to Snowflake Shelter – a special donation for a hard-working local cause, with funds raised from the RHBS Christmas Raffle.

Then it was time for a surprise presentation highlight – £1,000 donated to Icklesham Primary School. These funds were donated specifically to help with the running costs of the school pool, and to subsidise the cost of swimming for families. The cheque was presented to Jo Barry who works at the school and manages the swimming – and also happens to be PLIRB secretary and member of the PLIRB crew.

Members of the PLIRB team enjoying the donation!

ctivity then moved on to refreshments and a Music Quiz evening, with a cash prize up for grabs. Of course, the PLIRB crew performed with great enthusiasm and effort – plus a not too shameful extent of knowledge across the team – and finished in 3rd place. Our favourite was the lego album covers round, by the way!

First place and the cash prize went to one of the RHBS teams (one of whom is also a member of the PLIRB). The warm and sharing nature of the evening was really reflected in the fact that this team immediately split the prize between the causes who had come to the event – a wonderful gesture and a brilliant extra donation for us.

Everyone here at Pett Level Independent Rescue Boat would like to say a very big thank you to everyone involved in the Robin Hood Bonfire Society – this local community support is sincerely appreciated and makes a considerable difference to us.

What’s more, we also appreciate having the chance to support the Robin Hood Bonfire display – it’s such a fantastic community event. Thank you for having us – to the presentation and to the bonfire and we’re already looking forward to 2019’s event going with a bang!

On that note, a date for the diaries is Sunday 3rd November 2019, when the next Robin Hood Bonfire Display is scheduled to take place.

Thanks to Two Sawyers, Pett

On Thursday 21st February, we were delighted to pop up to the Two Sawyers pub in Pett, to present a certificate of thanks for recent donations.

The Two Sawyers have been taking donations into a custom-made donation box, all of which has added up to a recent donation of just over £100 to us. A short certificate presentation, and a celebratory round of drinks (mostly soft ones, of course) took place as we said thank you to the team at the Two Sawyers. Publican and owner Mark Fleischer and barstaff Karen are pictured receiving the certificate of thanks, along with Dave Martin, PLIRB chairman.

Everyone here at Pett Level Independent Rescue Boat would like to say a very big thank you staff and customers of the Two Sawyers – this local community support is sincerely appreciated and makes a considerable difference to what we’re able to achieve in replacing vital equipment and providing an essential independent local rescue service along the local coastline (and beyond).

We really couldn’t do it without this kind of support, thank you all very much.

 

 

Thanks to Dynamic Events, Rye

On Sunday 3rd February, we were delighted to have a visit to the base from the wonderfully supportive team at Dynamic Events in Rye, who came to present us with a marvellous cheque for £2022.90. This very welcome donation is the result of some very hard work fundraising on behalf of Pett Level Independent Rescue Boat, as an independent rescue charity.

It all began last summer when the staff team at Dynamic Events decided to take part in September 2018’s Dragonboat Race at Bewl Water. However, when asked which charity they’d be fundraising for, they had a little trouble deciding. But staff member Jo Stapley, who also happens to be a trainee crew volunteer here at the PLIRB, was quick to share with her colleagues our efforts in raising money to buy and refit a reserve launch & recovery vehicle. Once Jo shared this water-themed cause, and the question was put to a vote, Jo’s colleagues were quick to get on board with the idea, with PLIRB winning the vote as the chosen charity.

As we shared at the time, the Dynamic Events Dragonboat was manned (and of course womanned) by a superb crew of Dynamic Events staff, PLIRB volunteers, plus a few interested (and very helpful) families and friends to make up the numbers. Despite coming in last in every race, this fabulous crew had a fantastic time and managed to raise a significant sum for us whilst doing so.

In fact, now that all of the monies have been collected and counted, Dynamic Events were able to donate a cheque for £2022.90, which is an amazing result for all their hard work in raising funds with quiz nights, fun events and a dedicated GoFundMe page.

As the top photo shows, several Dynamic Events staff members came down for the presentation whilst many of our boat and base crews, including Jo Stapley, were also down at the base for our usual Sunday morning training. It was great to be able to get together and enjoy some early spring sunshine and receive (with grateful thanks) the cheque.

Dynamic Events, fundraising, donations, cheque presentation, independent rescue charity,

The cropped in photo above shows (front row, L to R) PLIRB Chairman, David Martin, receiving the cheque from Claire Bowley (Dynamic Events Operations Director), Malcolm Wallace (Dynamic Events Managing Director), Kelsey Morgan (Events Assistant), Amelia Simpson (Event Manager), and Tara O’Shea (Event Assistant) and Jo Stapley (representing both Dynamic Events and PlIRB).  Also in the close-up are PLIRB crew members (back row, L to R) Isaac Dyer, Ethan Beech, John Crowther and Darren Barry,

Everyone here at Pett Level Independent Rescue Boat would like to say a very big thank you to all concerned at Dynamic Events, as well as all those who supported their fundraising with donations and sponsorship. This kind of support is sincerely appreciated and is really making a difference to us in what we’re able to achieve in replacing vital equipment and providing an essential independent local rescue service along the local coastline (and beyond).

We really couldn’t do it without this kind of support, thank you all very much.