Casualty Retrieval Training #2

So the #2nd session of casualty retrieval training involved finding casualty who had been reported as sitting injured on the beach around the area opposite Pett Pools.

Beach injuries are surprisingly common: the beach presents plenty of trip hazards as well as a shifting shingle surface – and that’s before you even get as far as areas of sinking sand and unpredictable waves and tide movement! However, it’s also an area of great fun and as long as prudence prevails, tide times are researched in advance of a visit, weather conditions noted and warning signs recognised and understood, there’s no reason not to enjoy the beach safely: inform yourself and prepare yourself and a beach visit should be fun!

However, for our hapless victim casualty John, for training purposes he had tripped on a beach hazard and sustained an injured arm, so it was down to the crew to find his location, assess his injury and administer first aid and to bring him back to the safety of the base where, in a real casualty situation, an ambulance would be waiting to remove him to hospital.



Casualty Retrieval Training #1

Sunday 27th May 2018’s beautiful weather and rising tide offered great conditions for a very busy training session! The main focus was casualty retrieval, carried out over several different exercises which involved crew acting as casualties and both Bob and Resusci Annie dummies being used.

In fact, there was so much going on that the morning’s training for the PLIRB volunteer crew has been split across a series of posts, so that the images don’t overload the blog page!

The focus was on the types of rescue and casualty retrieval which most commonly happen around the local beach areas – and the first one of these was retrieval of an individual who was uninjured, but cut off by the tide down towards Cliff End, notorious for its disappearing under-cliff beach once the tide turns.

🙂 Apologies for the hazy quality of some of the photos, it was just so sunny for a change!


Guess who’s coming to play on Open Day?

Just a quick post to share that Hall & Blokes Ukulele Band (of Hastings Beatles’ Day and Rye Ukulele Festival fame, amongst other exciting appearances) have confirmed they will be available to play at our upcoming Open Day on Sunday 26th August 2018!

Our dedicated Open Day page is being updated with this exciting news, along with the fact that raffle tickets are now being sold by crew and committee members, so give us a “shout” if you’d like to buy some!

Shore training, event preparations and hazard removal!

It’s been a busy weekend for the boat and crews, with the Margaret and John Pulfer boat due back out twice more in the afternoon, so this morning’s training session was mainly shore-based and equipment training.

To get things going, nature provided its own training challenge! After yesterday’s vertical shingle ‘wall’ for the tractor to negotiate, today’s surprise was in the form of a dead tree, left by the retreating tide right in the middle of the launch area. This would be a hazard not only to the PLIRB boats and trailer during launch and recovery – a tree that size in the water could easily take the blades off the propeller – but also to other boats and beach users.

Once again, Kev’s tractor-management expertise meant the tractor was able to be positioned as close as possible for retrieving the tree. Meanwhile, trainees were challenged with the task of tying appropriate knots to the ropes needed for the tractor to haul the tree back up.

After this, full crew and Launch Authority Darren took trainee volunteers through vital training, including:

  • Dinghy recovery.
  • Inventory and familiarisation with the Pulfer boat and equipment.
  • Propeller changing (on dry land today, but there are times when the propeller may need to be changed at sea. 
  • Familiarising with GPS dashboard on the boat.

Then it was time to get the boat prepared for the afternoon’s events, so more time well spent down at the PLIRB!

Don’t forget to stop by if you are interested in volunteering for us or supporting us! 

Safety Support at Sailability Event – Rye Harbour Sailing Club

It’s been a particularly busy time for the volunteer teams this weekend (19th & 20th May 2018) as Pett Level Inshore Rescue Boat have been providing safety support at the Rye Harbour Sailing Club’s Sailability Weekend event.

On Saturday we launched the Margaret & John Pulfer boat at approximately 1.30 pm, in order to be at Rye Harbour for the RHSC’s afternoon session.

Saturday afternoon’s crew: Ethan, Shaun, Rob and Jo.

However, although the tide level and conditions were fine for launch, the situation with the shingle was something else! Recent high tides, coupled with high winds had formed a steep, almost vertical shingle ridge which made the tractor launch more difficult than usual …

Vertical shingle ridge (seen looking up towards the base from shore)

Thanks to the expertise of Kev, Launch Vehicle volunteer, and the use of additional ropes, hands, and particular care, the ridge was negotiated …

To allow the boat and crew to launch successfully …


But getting the boat off safely is only half of Kev’s task. He’s then tasked with getting the tractor back up to the base, without becoming stuck in the shingle! The PLIRB tractor’s a Thwaite’s 6 tonne tractor, so of course being able to pull (or push) 6 tonnes means it’s a heavy vehicle in its own right!

The process of getting back up involves ‘walking’ also known as ‘crabbing’ the tractor back up the beach with small, incremental moves from side to side, reversing all the time. These movements, painstakingly carried out by Kev, move the tractor back up the beach approximately 12 – 18 inches at a time. Once the tractor was onto safer shingle, then the trailer was reattached and pulled back up to the base as usual. Job done … until the boat comes back, of course!

Meanwhile, over at Rye Harbour, the crew spent the afternoon shadowing sailing boats involved in the Sailability event. This sailing took place in the River Rother, at the Rye Harbour end and also up river as it curves towards Rye.

Conditions were pleasant, but not as warm as it looks in the photos – overall it was pretty cold as it was quite gusty around the Harbour mouth. Everything went in a ‘plain sailing’ fashion although the arrival of a freight boat into the harbour, the equivalent of a ‘wide load’ on the roads, meant that for a while the sailing took place upriver …

Once our session ended, some very welcome tea and cake were provided by RHSC to the shore crew who were attending and to the boat crew – all much appreciated.

Our second session of the weekend took place on Sunday afternoon, with crew members: Andy, Shaun, Isaac and John, who enjoyed much warmer conditions!