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!

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