Christmas Cheer with Hastings RNLI

Our very busy 2018 has come to an end, and has been rounded off in a fun and interesting way with a Christmas visit across to RNLI Hastings.

This visit to the iconic lifeboat house of RNLI Hastings gave us the chance to get a close up look at their beautiful new Shannon boat, a really amazing craft! It’s fair to say the mechanic enthusiasts from our volunteer crews all gazed in awe and wonder at the magnificent engine and came away with a wish-list which covers ideas for upgrading elements of our own crafts, base and equipment!

RNLI Hastings, Shannon craft, engine, beach safety

Shaun, Isaac and Russ, being inspired in the engine department!

Some of the team were able to spend a little time chatting with the RNLI Hastings team but, as not all of our crew members were available on the day, another visit is being planned for later in the year.

Because we’re an independent rescue charity, it’s important to us to spend time with our professional colleagues from the RNLI, as we all work together to support water safety along this magnificent coastline. Additionally, being independent means we don’t always have the same access to the wider sharing of good practice that national rescue organisations benefit from. For this reason, it’s also extremely valuable for us to have the chance to discuss the latest equipment innovations and to exchange techniques and training ideas with local RNLI teams, just as we do with our HM Coastguard and HM Search and Rescue colleagues.

With all this in mind, we’re pleased to say that our training plans for 2019 include joint training with local and regional rescue colleagues, and discussions about this are already underway. Please keep visiting our website, Facebook and social media pages for updates and information if you’d like to read more about it as it happens.

And if you’d like to be involved in 2019, even better! Donations are always appreciated and volunteers are always welcome. Please contact us if you’d like to find out more.

In the meantime, many thanks to RNLI Hastings for our visit and lovely warm welcome, and we look forward to seeing you again soon (and seeing how many more of our team we can fit onto the stairwell)!

RNLI Hastings, PLIRB team visit

* ~ * And a final chance to wish a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all of our visitors and supporters * ~ *

Cliff End Casualty Retrieval Training

Last Sunday’s training was an extension of our missing person search and rescue training, with a scenario of a ‘reported casualty’ around the Cliff End area of the beach.

The team responded as this a ‘real-time’ exercise, and attended the location to administer first aid and to retrieve the casualty to the safety of the boat house where, in a real-life situation, an ambulance would have been waiting. As this training aimed to be as close to real life as possible, the scenario anticipated that an ambulance wouldn’t attend for at least forty minutes, so it was a chance to refresh our recent first aid training, with a focus on stabilising the ‘casualty’ in the interim.

All aspects of search, rescue, first aid and shore protocol came into play for base and rescue crews. As it was extremely windy, with a high and rolling tide (as captured in the above photo, the boat wasn’t launched. Instead, the team walked along to Cliff End, which is something which would also happen if this was a real-life call to the Cliff End area.

In the event, our ‘casualty’ was assessed for injury, with protocol for suspected head and neck injury in place. Several members of the team were involved in moving the casualty onto the stretcher and then removing the casualty from the beach.

Once back at base, the scenario was then repeated during the debrief so that learning points arising from the training could be reinforced. This particularly applied to the stretcher use as many of our trainees had not yet been involved in using the stretcher for casualty retrieval and the actual practice of getting a person off the beach, via the rocks is something which takes some getting used to.

As well as the actual physical stretcher retrieval training, it was vital to put our first aid training into practice so that we can be as rescue-ready as possible at any time of the year. And with all of that in mind, this kind of training will be ongoing as we move into 2019.

So if you’d like to get involved, by joining us as a volunteer – for base, boat or admin and committee roles – please contact us.





Night Launch Training

Our first night launch training of the season took place on 21st November.

Weather conditions were good, cold and dark (a necessary part of the training), but with a brilliant moon and starry sky helping conditions to feel eerily well-lit.

The evening’s training had been planned around a training scenario of searching for a missing person along the Winchelsea Beach stretch of the coast. Established crew, along with boat and base trainees were kept busy in all aspects of search and rescue, and shore protocol – radio, coordinates and location, as well as helm practice and night-search logistics. 

Although the night was successful, it’s essential to practice in all types of light and weather conditions. But as well as the conditions, the scenario is also an important one, as we’ve had several recent incidences relating to persons missing around the beach area. With this being such a common call out for us, it’s essential to incorporate this type of situation into our training sessions so we’re hoping to schedule another night training session for next month.

And of course all training is vital practice for all members of our crew, including those who are fairly new to us. If you’re interested in joining us as a volunteer, please contact us or pop down to see us during our Sunday morning training sessions.





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!






Smile! You can now support us (at no cost to you) through Amazon

Good news this week! As a charity, we’re now fully signed up members of Amazon Smile, so any purchases made which include us as the nominated charity will mean Amazon make a donation to us.

Pett Level Independent Rescue Boat Assn.

A full how-to page is coming soon in our Fundraising section, but in the meantime, please do have a go via Smile.Amazon.

Our charity account is detailed as Pett Level Independent Rescue Boat Assn.  This title is important, even down to the full-stop at the end of Assn. because without this you won’t find us when trying to set us as your nominated charity for donations.

This fund-raising method is great for all of us because it doesn’t cost you anything – it’s Amazon who make the donation out of the purchase price of eligible purchases.

So if you’re going to be doing your Black Friday or Christmas shopping on Amazon, please do think of us!