Beach Safety Signs Reminder!

Another beach safety reminder … this time about local beach safety signs. We’d particularly like to draw attention to the Rother District Council safety signage at the Cliff End part of Pett Level beach.

beach safety signs
Please do be aware of the information on this sign. Yet again at the weekend, individuals were risking their health, safety and indeed their lives by scrambling and climbing over recent rock falls.
It’s very important to be aware that the Cliff End cliffs are very unstable at any time of the year. Getting close to the cliff line is a highly risky practice. Our advice is to always stay away from the top and bottom of the cliff line, and avoid climbing or sitting in any of the under-cliff areas.
If you see anyone trapped or injured by the tides or falling rocks, please alert emergency services on 999 or the Coastguards on 112.

And we’ve said this before, but as well as reading the beach safety signs, another action you can take to reduce your risk and promote beach safety is to bring a charged mobile phone with you. This way, if you have a problem yourself or spot someone else in difficulties on the cliff, beach or in the water, you can alert emergency services and the coastguards.

You can also find out more about the hazards and risks at Pett Level and other local beaches by visiting our BEACH SAFETY PAGE.



Spring is Here … Along With a Beach Safety Reminder!

We’re into the Spring Bank Holiday! The beach is buzzing with walkers, water-sports enthusiasts and visitors, so it’s time for a useful beach safety reminder (or two)!

Yes, as well as visitors, Spring also brings unpredictable weather, extreme tides and other wonders of nature to the local coastlines. So the time is right to get some beach safety reminder messages going. And, as usual, some of our volunteers have some useful #beachaware safety messages this week.

First up, our Jo (below) has something to say about checking out those tides …
beach safety reminder, spring bank holiday 2022
Meanwhile, our other Jo  (smiling below) has a beach safety reminder about those rockfalls and crumbling cliff faces. These continue to be a regular hazard along our Cliff End beach here at Pett Level and it’s certainly the season for rockfalls.

Please remember that crumbling cliffs can can put you at risk whether you’re at the top, or the bottom of the cliff. This is particularly the case locally and the cliff line changes very quickly. Please be mindful of local risks and also keep dogs away from the cliff line. If your dog is unpredictable or recall is poor, keep it on the lead.
beach safety reminder, Pett Level beach
And the biggest beach safety reminder? Plan for any possibility by always bringing a charged mobile phone with you so you can alert emergency services and the coastguards.

You can also find out more about the hazards and risks at Pett Level and other local beaches by visiting our BEACH SAFETY PAGE.



Beach Safety Update

Please take a moment to read our essential beach safety reminder for local beach users. Our local Cliff End beach at Pett Level is notorious for rock falls and, after the recent storms, the current risk of rock falls is much greater.

beach safety signage, Cliff End
Please be aware that rock falls can happen at any time and can affect you whether you’re at the cliff top, or the cliff bottom.
To minimise personal risk:
  • Please stay away from the cliff edge at the top.
  • Do not walk or sit under the cliff line.
  • Do not try to climb the cliffs.
  • If you’re dog walking and recall is an ‘in-progress’ part of training, please keep your dog on a lead on the cliff-side of the beach so it can’t run into the under-cliff area.

And of course, please continue to be aware of how fast the incoming tide floods the under-cliff area. The tide can cut you off right under high-risk rock fall areas, so please:

  • Check the tide times before taking a walk (there’s widget on our home page to help with this).
  • Be aware that you can get cut off even up to 2 hours before the high tide is due!
  • Charge your phone before beach walks and visits and bring it with you, for emergency purposes.
Stay safe and #beachaware 👍

Remember, if you spot a problem, please call emergency services on 999 and ask for the coastguard.



Sunday Training – A Big Beach Clean Up

As well as our usual training and maintenance of equipment last Sunday, the boat, base and beach crew volunteers were tasked with something else … a big beach clean up.

Whether as a result of the tides, some beach-based fly-tipping, dumping of waste at sea or a combination of these worrying factors, when the crews arrived at the boat house last Sunday there was a significant amount of debris on the beach, close to our launch slipway. The implications this has for safety and of course for the environment, meant a big beach clean up operation was a priority. 

The debris mostly appeared to be a significant combination of thick ropes and netting, which was caught up in one of the groynes. This type of beach debris can cause a potential hazard in many ways:

  • At low tide, to beach users and dogs.
  • To marine life and local bird life.
  • Being a risk to vessels and water craft, including our own launch vehicle and boats.
  • Because this debris was very firmly tangled in the groyne, it also adds to the submerged hazard of the groyne itself at high-tide.
  • This risk to vessels, including our own, has implications for our own rapid response to emergency call outs.

It was clearly a no-brainer that a clean-up was needed – and fast. So our volunteers decided to work to remove the debris, with a plan to cut it away and then use our launch / recovery vehicle to tow the netting off the beach.

In the event, it took around 45 minutes just to cut the netting away, as it was well and truly tangled around the groyne. Being nylon, it was also particularly hard-wearing and resistant to our efforts to just untangle it, so the only way to remove it was by cutting it.


Once towed up to the top of the beach, the debris was then sorted along the sea wall, and removed to the boathouse, so that it could be disposed of appropriately.

Our volunteers always work hard on Sundays down at the boathouse, and today was no exception, with everyone who was there involved in some aspect of the beach clean up.

As this shows, there’s plenty involved as a volunteer with Pett Level Independent Rescue Boat – even without setting foot on a boat! If you’re looking for a volunteering opportunity in 2020, please do think about joining us. Come on down to the boathouse (and the beach) any Sunday morning from 9 a.m. to find out about getting involved or contact us.

Migrant beach landings – support to Border Patrol & Police Services

On Tuesday 10th September, volunteers at the Pett Level Independent Rescue Boat took part in a situation which was more of a support rather than a ‘Shout’ response.

As such, this incident didn’t involve our boat crews or vessels in a water-based rescue task. Instead, volunteers from the team supported other emergency services who were tasked with dealing with migrant boat landings on local beaches.

The incident took place during the afternoon, when Police and Border Force teams attended Pett Level to deal with a situation of an illegal boat landing on local beaches. Because the situation was in a very close vicinity of the PLIRB base and boathouse, PLIRB volunteers supported emergency service colleagues by opening up the boat house and lookout.

The venue and facilities were then used as a temporary base for our service colleagues to manage the situation from, with the PLIRB team on hand to provide equipment and refreshments as required to everyone who was in need of this.

The BBC later attended the situation, along with local journalists. The incident has since been reported in the local Rye and Battle Observer.

First Aid Update

Last weekend’s training took the whole weekend, with 9 base and boat crew volunteers taking part in First Aid training. 

This is the first wave (see what we did there?) of refresher training for established crew teams and new training for the latest volunteers, for the Level 3 First Aid at Work course.

The first part of the course involved 6 hours of in-depth online training, then two days of practicals delivered by tutor Corrina Anderson, who was amazing in guiding everyone through the practicals and in ensuring that our understanding and competencies are fully in place so that, if the need arises, we can be there to support any emergency, or rescue situation with the appropriate first aid until the emergency medical services arrive.

There were plenty of action shots taken across the two days. Day 1 provided quite a few out-takes as those newbies amongst the crew got to grips with slings, CPR and burns first aid. Passers by were treated to the sight of us all in the boathouse all gloved up and in various stages of dressing (s)!

But such sights were all in a good cause as by the time the assessments took place on day 2, our practice had paid off and we were able to offer a clean sweep of competencies when it came to the practicals, the written / oral questions and our reflective practice: with all 9 volunteers passing the course.

Of course, we’d prefer never to have to use any of this training, but beaches can be dangerous places and accidents happen so it’s essential to have the skills which help us prepare for any eventuality on a call out or a situation on the beach.

When we’re there, our boathouse base is a First Aid point for Pett Level beach, and now there will be many more first aiders around to help provide these services to beach visitors. In fact, from now and particularly once more crew complete the training, we should have qualified first aiders available on the boats and at the base, at the same time.

Special thanks go to Corrina for giving up her time to come and spend the whole weekend with us, and to Kev for organising it all. Oh, and for the fact that it’s happening all over again for another raft of crew members and trainees in the Autumn … Corrina was amazing so we can’t wait to welcome her back to do it all over again! Thanks so much for supporting us with this training, Corrina!