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.