Community Support Brings an Extra Open Day Donation

Open Day 22 also came with an extra visitor – local business man Darren McCarthy – with an extra boost to our FUNdraising efforts! 

Darren came down to enjoy our 2022 Open Day fundraiser event , but made it extra enjoyable for us by presenting our charity with a cheque for £400. Like everyone else, individuals, families, homes, businesses and charities, we’re all facing all manner of rising costs, so this cheque brings a very welcome boost towards our ongoing costs and the funds we need annually for training and vital equipment updates. 

community support from Battle Abbey Chapter, Rose Croix 817

Darren was delivering this donation on behalf of himself and his community-minded colleagues at the Battle Abbey Chapter, Rose Croix No 817.

    Handing over the cheque, Darren told us: “We’re pleased to help our community charities and causes.” 

    Regular followers of our blog may remember Darren who, with his Masonic colleagues,  kindly supported us in 2020, when the pandemic meant an urgent requirement for PPE and enhanced cleaning and sanitising, which was adding to the strain on our costs. Back then the photo was socially distanced (as shown below) so it was great for Kev to finally be able to shake Darren’s hand to thank him and his Chapter for the donation this time around.

    support our charity

    Our charity trustees and volunteers are grateful for this support,

    thank you so much to Darren & colleagues.

    Whilst you’re here …

    As an independent rescue service, we are run by volunteers and fundraise to buy all of our own equipment and to pay our considerable running costs. Since the pandemic began, these costs have risen to over £10,000 a year.

    If you like the work we do and would like to support us, your donation would really be appreciated and would, ultimately, help us to help those in danger on our local coastline.

    Thank you so much, from the volunteers at Pett Level Independent Rescue Boat.

    PLIRB Charity Open Day 2022

    After losing two Open Days to lockdown, Open Day 2021 was an amazing success, so we didn’t dare hope that our 2022 Charity Open Day would even come close to matching it. But the sun was shining (literally after the rain) and we’re pleased to share that thanks to our volunteers, friends, their families, local businesses and a celebrity comedian, we almost made it!

    plirb charity open day 22

    Yes, 2022’s charity Open Day final total is a fantastic fundraising total of £6225.20!

    Although this doesn’t quite beat last year’s £6,800+ total, we remain amazed and overwhelmed by our local community’s support. This year, the gross amount received from the event was actually more than last year! It’s just that with rising costs, our overall spend on the event was higher this time around, which of course has an impact on the funds raised.

    But this doesn’t take away from the superb success of the event and the kind generosity of all our supporters, including those who came on the day, those who donated items to sell or include in the raffle and those who gave additional donations in lieu of being able to come along.

    High spots of this year’s Open Day included …


    Our busy volunteers and supporters who helped on the day …
    charity open day 22, bbq team
    charity open day, raffle ticket volunteers

    Our stalwart team of BBQ volunteers, who did an amazing job keeping the food going for our visitors, despite the heat in the ‘kitchen’!

    Our raffle ticket sales and folding up team of volunteers were kept very busy throughout the event and right up to the last minute with online sales too!

    charity open day 22, bar team

    Our shanty-style bar, complete with licence and volunteers, and of course our customary Pimm’s!

    Whilst the cake stall was laden with goodies thanks to donations from local supporters, bakers and businesses.

    charity open day, play your cards right game
    charity open day hoopla game

    Games and activities organised by our crew volunteers … after all, it wouldn’t be Open Day without Shaun’s “Play Your Cards Right” game.

    And up on the sea wall, other volunteers offered happy times with hoopla, whack-a-rat and our new “Get Yer Kit On” timed challenge!

    Our extra special visitors and supporters …
    charity open day, official opening by Rye Town Crier
    charity open day, official opening by Rye Town Crier

    Paul Goring, Town Crier of Rye came along to officially open our event at 11:00 am.

    … Which was the kind of ‘shout’ we really love to hear and set the tone for our special event!

    charity open day, mayor of Winchelsea
    community support from Battle Abbey Chapter, Rose Croix 817

    The new Mayor of Winchelsea, David Merrifield, and Lady Mayoress came down to join in the fun and to meet members of the local community.

    And a special visit from Darren McCarthy of Battle Abbey Chapter, Rose Croix 817, with a donation cheque for £400. More about this on another blog post.

    Our fun dog show was a pawfect success
    charity open day, fun dog show
    charity open day, fun dog show

    And over at our fun dog show, volunteer P had organised something special for pooches taking part in the activities. This event proved so popular!

    Here’s a winner … little Bowie, with owner Molly (and mum Anne-Marie) – first prize for the most appealing eyes! Well done Bowie!

    Sea display x 2, as it happened …

    Our volunteer crews also gave a sea display. This had to be altered on the day, due to the rough seas and rising winds and although this curtailed the display, our visitors also had the chance to see our volunteers in real-time action, when they were tasked to assist a broken down jet ski. And although we were right in the middle of Open Day, it meant they were well placed for one of the fastest emergency launches ever!

    charity open day, rescue launch
    community support from Battle Abbey Chapter, Rose Croix 817

    Recovering the Pulfer boat after the successful ‘shout’ to assist a broken down jet ski. The jet ski and two persons were recovered to the safety of Rye Harbour, before the boat returned to our boathouse.

    Crew members attending the ‘shout’ included (left to right) John, Helm Shaun and Martin. Our beach and base teams were also involved, with responsive communications, launch and retrieval tasks

    And of course our special raffle draw
    Jo Brand and Kev at our charity open day 22

    The final event of the day was the draw for the many generously donated items from local businesses and well-wishers, including the two star prizes of brand new e-bikes donated by Rye Bay E-Bikes.  

    We were so lucky to have the wonderful Jo Brand to come along and do the honours for us. What a fabulous friend to our charity she is, joining in with plenty of fun and banter with the crowds and with our charity’s Chair, Kev, particularly. Jo made the drawing of the raffle so much fun and we were honoured that she came along to support our event.

    We’re also especially grateful that Jo literally waited around at the end, for our crew to return from the rescue, and for our beach crews to safely bring the boat in, so that we could all have a team photo taken with her. Thanks Jo!



    And of course to our amazing volunteers and their own friends and families who helped out with planning and delivering this and to everyone who attended or donated in whatever way to make the day a success.




    This amazing amount will be used to support continued (and rising) running costs and to help us with some of our overall equipment and training projects.

    To everyone who contributed to this fantastic result, thank you so much.


    If you would like to support us, your donation will help us assist those in danger on our local coastline.

    Thank you so much, from the volunteers at Pett Level Independent Rescue Boat.

    Sea Sunday, Safety Patrols & Missing Children at Camber

    Another busy training session at our boathouse, which included being tasked to assist the search for missing children at Camber.

    missing child at Camber, tasked to assist, Sunday training
    Today was a glorious day down at Pett Level and a busy day for the Pett Level Independent Rescue Boat volunteers!

    The day started with the annual Sea Sunday, a service that celebrates and give thanks for all those on the sea. There is a tradition for this to take place at our boathouse, which the pandemic sadly cut across for a significant time. Today, the service was resumed and it’s our pleasure to host the event and receive a blessing for the boats and crews.
    volunteer beach teams and rescue crew training and tasked to assist
    After the service the crew remained on station and launched to do a patrol of the local area. The beaches from Pett to Winchelsea Beach, across Rye Bay to Camber were incredibly busy with families enjoying the wonderful weather. Previous years have shown that unexpected incidents can happen at any time, so being immediately available is crucial. And in the event of such a fine weekend, it also proved necessary …

    Tasked to assist in the search for missing children at Camber

    At 18:30 we were tasked by UK Coastguard to assist in the search for missing children at Camber beach. We joined colleagues from RNLI Rye Harbour offshore at Camber, alongside local Coastguard teams.

    All children were found safe and well, which is great news. Just as we were making our way back, we were requested by Coastguards to remain on scene to be available incase of further incidents. With so many thousands of visitors on the beach who are not familiar with local conditions, on a day like today it was clear our safety support could be needed at any time.

    After remaining on scheme, we then returned to station around 7:30 pm. Then there was more busy-ness as our volunteers carried out the ‘recovery’ tasks. So, after a very ‘Sea Sunday’, our volunteers were then busy washing down the suits, boats and equipment, plus refuelling and preparing the boats to be #rescueready for the next call out.

    boat recovery following SHOUT to search for missing person

    A huge thanks to all our volunteer crew who continue to give their time on such a beautiful day. A special thank you too to the supporters an donors who help keep our independent rescue boat charity afloat.



    Bright and Breezy Sunday Training

    Another glorious team training day down at Pett Level Independent Rescue Boat’s boathouse! This morning we were blessed with such wonderful sunshine and a timely tide, perfect for getting both boats onto the water for scenario training …

    team training, independent rescue boat, East Sussex
    Both our Pulfer boat and our smaller Tornado boat were launched with volunteer crews to train across a variety of exercises. These began with “person overboard!” training, focusing on the different methods of bringing a casualty into each of the boats. This scenario was rehearsed repeatedly across a range of difficult (but likely) positional and casualty injury situations. 
    team training, independent rescue boat, East Sussex
    Having both boats afloat is also the ideal time to include some team training in establishing a tow to a boat. Today, the tide was perfect for rehearsing in a precarious location with hazardous rocks below the water.

    The breeze was also useful in helping our trainee helms learn more about boat handling whilst other members of the team established the tow. This worked successfully across both boats.

    But of course, team training involves all the teams. Today, this meant our base and beach crew volunteers could monitor and rehearse the onshore activity involved in such rescues.

    team training, independent rescue boat, East Sussex
    Our volunteer crews, including our beach and base crews, work hard in team training, as part of our commitment to always being #rescueready. 



    Our 2023 Calendar Photo Competition Has Entries!

    Time to update on our photo competition for our 2023 fundraising calendar. And the big news is … we now have entries!

    photo competition, PLIRB 2023 Calendar
    John Shipp’s a keen supporter of our calendar photo competition, winning MAY in our 2022 calendar.

    And John’s into the competition again for 2023. This time around he’s submitted 5 amazing local scenes, including this lovely low tide at Cliff End!
    photo competition 2023 calendar

    Entries welcome for our 2023 Calendar Photo Competition

    Have you got an inspiring image you’d like to include, to get you into the competition and maybe onto our charity calendar?

    From scenic seascapes and lovely landscapes to splendid skies and amazing aspects, we warmly invite you to enter our photo competition and help raise money to support our independent rescue boat charity, all at the same time! But the clock’s ticking so don’t leave it to the last moment … entries in as soon as possible please!

    Full details, Ts & Cs for entry are on our competition donation page, JUST CLICK HERE!

    This year, we’ll finally be able to include a gallery of the photo competition entries on the website, so please keep checking back for more info and up dates. And in the meantime, please contribute your wonderful images and join in this FUNdraiser!

    And thanks again to John for supporting our independent rescue boat charity with this wonderful shot … of a very favourite spot!



    PLIRB 2023 Calendar Photography Competition

    Yes, it’s back … by popular demand! After the amazing success of last year’s FUNdraiser calendar photography competition, we’ve just launched this year’s competition to find the best local photos for our 2023 calendar!

    photo competition 2023 calendar
    From scenic seascapes, lovely landscapes to splendid skies, we warmly invite you to enter our competition and help raise money to support our independent rescue boat charity, all at the same time!
    Just like last year, there will be 12 x winners, each receiving 2 x free 2023 calendars as a prize. You can see some of the lucky winners receiving theirs in the asset above. There will also be an overall winner, receiving the special extra prize of a voucher for a canvas print.
    The image below show 2022’s overall winning photograph by Julia Blake-Callow. This was an entry which won for September in the calendar as was judged overall winner by friend of PLIRB, the wonderful Jo Brand.
    photography competition 2022

    Entries welcome for our 2023 Calendar Photography Competition

    As this is a FUNdraiser for us, we do request a donation of £5 per photo entry please, up to a maximum of 5 entries per person.
    Full details, Ts & Cs for entry are on our competition donation page, JUST CLICK HERE! Competition closes 4th September 2022.
    We’re so excited to see some of the fabulous photos we know will be coming this way. Just a few more tweaks to our website and we’ll be able to showcase them on our website pages too.
    In the meantime, please don’t leave it to the last minute! Get those entries in so we can share them and generate the same wonderful interest in our photography competition as we enjoyed last year. It’s also makes judging so much more exciting to have plenty of entries to choose from! More info on this year’s judge coming soon!

    Thank you to everyone who supports our competitions and fundraisers – we can’t do what we do without you! Good luck in the competition!