Thanks to Triumph Owners Motor Cycle Club

We had a great evening with the Triumph Owners Motor Cycle Club during the week. We were kindly invited to the Rother Chapter’s AGM at the Robin Hood in Icklesham, on 14th November 2018 to receive a donation from their fundraising efforts.

The presentation of a cheque for £600 was made at the start of the meeting, and was gratefully received by John Brooker. John gave a short talk, to pass on our thanks for this great donation and to share news on how this money will be used – for our Reserve Launch Vehicle fund.

With a group who are clearly mechanically minded, it was great to be able to share some of the details about the mechanical spec of the launch vehicle in its current state, and the extent of the mechanical and engineering works which need to be carried out in order to transform the vehicle into something more fit for our purpose. John gave a good outline of the planned works and of how the money will help towards this.

Sincere thanks to the TOMCC Rother Chapter, from all of the PLIRB team, both for inviting us and for your fundraising efforts on our behalf. Your donation is much appreciated and will be well spent, thank you.






Robin Hood Bonfire Event ~ fantastic fireworks and friendly first aid

After a busy morning’s training, some of the volunteer base and boat crews from Pett Independent Rescue Boat attended the stunning fireworks event at the Robin Hood in Icklesham on 4th November 2018.

We were invited to attend this popular event, run by the Robin Hood Bonfire Society, to help out as volunteers supporting the First Aid on-site for the occasion. In all, five crew members went along, including some who had recently completed their recent first aid and refresher training.

Robin Hood Bonfire Society, PLIRB First Aid

Setting up the First Aid tent, four of our volunteers – Kathy, John, Isaac and Darren – Jo was also part of the team but managed to avoid the photo!

The evening started off with an amazing procession of various societies within the local (and slightly further afield) community, including bonfire societies from Rye, Hastings, Hawkhurst and Lewes and of course the Robin Hood’s own bonfire society.

With torches and banners held aloft, costumes and face-paint galore and the throb of the drums, the pageantry and excitement of the bonfire lighting was as wonderful as the firework display which followed it.

Robin Hood Bonfire Society event 2018, PLIRB First Aid Robin Hood Bonfire Society event 2018, PLIRB First Aid Robin Hood Bonfire Society event 2018, PLIRB First Aid Robin Hood Bonfire Society event 2018, PLIRB First Aid Robin Hood Bonfire Society event 2018, PLIRB First Aid Robin Hood Bonfire Society event 2018, PLIRB First Aid

Another reason the event was a resounding success was the fact that there were no major mishaps or first aid needed: a small child was reunited with parents, an off-site incident was alerted to the team but attended by emergency medical services, all of which just left the small matter of attending to one of our own crew who was (for once) not wearing the launch vehicle but instead wearing one of his other volunteer hats: in his role as part of the Robin Hood bonfire team.

Robin Hood Bonfire Event, PLIRB First Aid

Kev (with his other hat on) and Isaac administering first aid (a Mr. Bump plaster turned out to be the most appropriate dressing)!

It really was a great evening, which we’re glad to have been part of. The Robin Hood staff and Bonfire Society made donation buckets for local charities (including PLIRB) available on the evening, so a big thank you to them for both supporting us and inviting us to help … we’re always proud to be part of this event. And thanks to everyone who supported the evening by coming along and by making donations.

See you all again soon!






Reserve Launch Vehicle Fundraiser ~ Sainsbury’s is Onboard!

The big news this week is that during last Sunday’s training, we had a visit from representatives of one of the local branches of Sainsbury’s.

The group were from the Station Plaza, Hastings branch of Sainsbury’s and they came to explore what Pett Level Independent Rescue Boat is all about, including what we do ~ and how we do it.  And the reason behind it all? Our visitors really wanted to see what goes on and why fundraising is so important to us because we’ve been nominated as the Station Plaza branch’s Local Charity of The Year, to help out with our Reserve Launch Vehicle Fundraiser.

The timing of the tide on Sunday meant that the recent exceptionally low tides at training time gave way to a fast-incoming tide which was particularly rocking and rolling when it came to getting the boat in and out (not to mention the crew during crew changes)!

As usual, the tractor (and Kev) played a vital role in getting the boat launched and gave our guests the chance to see why it is essential that there is always a working tractor when it comes to getting the boat safely up and down the shingle ridge to the shore.

And the great news? After a morning spent with base and boat crews, committee members and trustees, the Station Plaza, Hastings branch of Sainsbury’s announced that they would be extremely happy to help us with raising the £12,000 target for our Reserve Launch Vehicle fundraiser.

Many thanks for the visit everyone and we look forward to bringing regular updates from our honourary Sainsbury’s Station Plaza crew (look out for our dedicated page on this coming soon)!



Sailability Saturday, RNLI Open Day and More Tractor Troubles

Saturday 14th July 2018 dawned bright and beautiful and saw some of the Pett Level Independent Rescue Boat crew attending the Rye Harbour Sailing Club’s July Sailability event to provide water safety support.

The weather was particularly spectacular (a far cry from the bright but pretty chilly days back in May where the crew also joined in with RHSC’s Sailability event). 

For today’s event, the Rye Harbour area was busy both quayside and on the water with visitors attending the RNLI Rye Harbour Open Day, would-be sailors joining in with the RHSC’s event and an assortment of leisure and fishing boats travelling down the harbour and along to Hastings ready for Pirate Day!

There was also a bit of a wait for boats at the river mouth as the highest point of the tide saw a large dredger boat going back out to sea, which caused all other river ‘traffic’ to pause to one side and watch this giant vessel make its way out of the harbour.

Make way for Neptune

But once the big boat was out of the way, there was soon quite a flotilla of smaller boats eagerly setting sail … including ours!

Busy harbour, lots of water safety watching for the crew

Our crew for the afternoon, Andy, Steve, Isaac and John in the Margaret and John Pulfer boat supported Luey’s crew as they tacked along the harbour mouth and up the River Rother.

Boat crew: Isaac, John, Steve and Andy

The tide seemed to remain high for quite some time but once it dropped, it went out pretty quickly, causing a few problems for sailing boats which had been moored temporarily and then found themselves dry-banked. Our crew were able to help pull the boats up to safety.

Assisting with sail boat recovery


Also in action onshore

Once the event was over, Rye Sailing Club provided plenty of refreshments for the hungry and thirsty crew  – many thanks for this.

We’re not affiliated with the RNLI, as we’re an independent rescue boat charity. But of course, we all have a common goal – to ensure safety in local waters, so it was great to spend time working alongside our RNLI colleagues from Dungeness and Rye Harbour today. Particular thanks too, tthe kind crew members from RNLI Rye Harbour lifeboat who supplied our crew with tea whilst they were all waiting for the large dredger to be clear of the harbour so other events could begin. Much appreciated.

However, it wasn’t plain sailing for all of the PLIRB crew this afternoon as, meanwhile, there were a few technical hitches with the tractor. Having launched the crew for the event, the tractor’s steering ram hoses burst which stranded the tractor in the shingle and emergency repair to replace both steering ram hoses was needed.

All this had to be carried out as an emergency so that:

  • The boat could be recovered once it returned
  • The tractor would not be at risk of being stranded in the water once the tide came back in.
  • The tractor would be repaired and working over the weekend, as the fine weather means there’s every chance of a Shout at any time.[Edited to add: as actually happened on Sunday 15th July].

All of which demonstrates that all donations we receive, however large or small are much appreciated and do indeed help us towards ongoing costs, as well as new equipment because all PLIRB equipment needs constant investment to keep it functioning safely.

Sea Sunday

This week’s Sunday session (8th July 2018) wasn’t a training session for crew, but instead everyone here at the Pett Level Independent Rescue Boat played host to visitors from local churches for the annual Sea Sunday service.

Sea Sunday is a united service arranged by the united Christian Churches in Pett:

  • The Parish Church of St. Mary and St. Peter, Pett.
  • Pett Methodist Church.
  • St. Nicholas Church, Pett level.

Many visitors will recognise as St. Nicholas Church as the small chapel which is located right next to the PLIRB base. St. Nicholas is the Patron Saint of sailors and fishermen (among many other people) so the blessing of the boat in the shade of the boathouse and shadow of the chapel is a special community event.

The service included hymns, songs and story-telling from local school children and an official blessing of the boat by Rector Richard Barron.

Very unfortunately, we were struggling with tractor problems. This meant that the Margaret and John Pulfer boat, which would usually be on the slipway for the blessing, remained in its boathouse whilst crew mechanics carried out vital repairs on the tractor.

So, despite the sunshine and our many visitors, repair work had to continue throughout the service because the fine weather we’re having means that we’re on regular ‘stand by’ for Shouts across the local coastline. The Camber beach area is proving particularly popular whilst the weather holds and it’s essential to ensure that our vehicles are all ‘rescue-ready’ at all times.

The service ended with the PLIRB crew and committee hosting refreshments for our visitors. It was wonderful to see everyone and to feel such a part of the local community. Thank you all so much.

If anyone is interested in finding out more about the St. Nicholas Church and its long association with local sea rescue, please do visit the chapel and pick up a leaflet or visit

PS: The tractor is now working again! :)


Coming Soon … Open Day Entertainment

Open Day plans are all underway and some of the crew are just so full of anticipation and excitement that there’s no holding them back. 

Check out our entertainment poster boy Shaun, who kept us all entertained in the sunshine this weekend with a very laid back rendition of Mull Of Kintyre (hmmm, we have no idea why either)!

For this, and much better more entertainment, please come and support us on Open Day, Sunday 26th August 2018.

See our dedicated Open Day page for more details.