PLIRB is Now Static Trader’s Chosen Charity

As our supporters know, the pandemic has had a serious impact on our ability to fundraise to meet our running costs. But we have some exciting news! Rye Harbour-based company, Static Trader has chosen us as their charity to support for the next 12 months. What’s more, they have made a donation which will help out with both costs and fundraising!


Byron Whiteside, General Manager of local company Static Trader is no stranger to some of the volunteers here at the PLIRB – two of our team work at Static Trader! After chatting to these volunteers, Byron realised how the pandemic has affected our charity. In particular, as a businessman, Byron recognised that there’s a real problem when there are costs to pay but very little income since our major fundraisers in 2020 were cancelled due to the Covid pandemic.

Byron was keen to help, not only by choosing our rescue boat as Static Trader’s local charity to support, but also by taking care of one of our costs for us .. with a sponsorship donation of £1,000.

This very welcome donation is to fund the costs of printing our promotional merchandise, informational materials and posters. It will also help towards administrative printing costs.

“Giving my time is something I would have preferred to do, and something I’d love to do with Pett Level Independent Rescue Boat – I recognise how valuable their work is through my colleagues who volunteer with the boat. But although I can’t give my time in the same way they do, what I can do is give a donation and a helping hand to the charity.”

A donation, and then some …

This support is extremely timely for us, coming just in time to allow us to be able to have some charity greetings cards printed up. These have proved a popular fundraiser in the past. At the time of the discussions, the Ocean Ceramics Mad Hatter’s event was just around the corner as the only fundraiser event on our behalf all year! Thanks to the Static Trader donation and a quick printing turnaround, we were able to provide friend of the PLIRB Marian Mason with some of our cards to sell on the day. And sell she did, you can read all about that here!

Because it’s in this way, that Byron’s donation does more for us than ‘just’ help meet costs. Without this donation, we certainly wouldn’t have been able to create merchandise to sell over the coming months and into 2021, which would have been yet another fundraising source lost to us.

What’s more, having the cost of printing covered by the donation means that every penny one of our items is sold for comes straight back to us as funds raised. In turn, this will help us meet other running costs. Something our Treasurer, Stella Dunn is delighted about:

The treasurer’s role in a charity is always a fine balancing act – we need to raise funds continually and promote our services but often the cost is prohibitive. The sponsorship of our promotional fundraising goods by Static Trader is most welcome and generous, especially in this most challenging year when other avenues and opportunities have been so limited.”

Whilst it hasn’t yet been possible for Byron to come down to the boathouse for a formal thank you, a visit soon is on the cards (see what we did there?). In the meantime, Static Trader customers will have access to the donation pot which is now in the business’s sales office and PLIRB supporters will be able to look out for our brand new items for sale.

Sincere thanks to Byron Whiteside and Static Trader, from everyone at Pett Level Independent Rescue Boat

Whilst you’re here …

As an independent charity providing rescue services, we are run solely by volunteers. We receive no government or central funding, so we have to fundraise every penny needed to buy and maintain our equipment.

We also fundraise to pay our considerable running costs. Since the start of 2020, these have increased 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.

Anything you can spare will help us to help those in danger on our local coastline.

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

Community Support Our Charity with PPE – plus!

Time for an update! Recently, we had to ask our local community to support our charity and to help us return to the ‘new normal’ at the boat house.

As the relaxation of some restrictions mean a return to a more active community role, we’ve been faced with an extended challenge: the impact of lockdown and restrictions on group activities have had a real impact on our ability to fundraise. And at the same time, extra costs have arisen for the additional, necessary precautions and PPE which allow our volunteers to meet safely. These precautions also allow us to provide rescue and First Aid services in accordance with restrictions and distancing regulations.

So we launched an appeal on social media, asking for donations of PPE. And the response? Just amazing ! We’ve had individuals, community clubs, businesses – in fact, all kinds of people – offering help and vital items.


We’d like to say a big thank you to everyone who responded so positively. This includes several anonymous individuals:

  • One of whom donated fabric.
  • Another helper (who’d like to remain anonymous) sewed this into 30 masks for us!
  • Another kind individual also donated some disposable gloves.

We’d also like to say a public thank you to Dawn Hyland, whose sewing group made some masks for us, using their own fabric stash.

PPE – plus a little extra help

There’s also a special thank you to Darren McCarthy and members of the Freemason Lodge of the White Rock No.7891. The Lodge donated 6 boxes of disposable masks, 6 boxes of disposable gloves and 10 litres of hand gel with dispensing pumps. They also added a donation of £100, to help the extra equipment and cleaning costs along!  

On a quick visit to the PLIRB boathouse on Sunday 9th August, Darren handed the PPE to our delighted volunteers. The cheque for £100 was gratefully received by PLIRB Treasurer, Stella Dunn (photo above).

Handing over the cheque, Darren told us: “It’s what we do, we try to help local causes. What I saw the post on Facebook, I knew we could do something.”

We’re extremely grateful to everyone in the community who went to such time and effort to support our charity in our PPE appeal.

It’s a great relief to share that we’re now confident that we have what we need to help maintain a Covid-secure presence when our volunteers, visitors and (potentially) casualties or members of the public are at the boathouse.

With all of our fundraising events in 2020 cancelled, the Freemasons’ donation of £100 is an additional, and very welcome surprise. It will be used to help us meet some of the immediate extra costs facing us as we continue to provide a 24/7 on-call rescue response on the local coastline.

A very sincere thank you to everyone who responded to this appeal.

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 and Rescue Services Attend Pett Level Incident

On Tuesday 14th July, Pett Level Independent Rescue Boat teams were called out following reports of a swimmer in difficulties just off the coast at Pett Level.

At approximately 18:07, our teams were tasked to attend and prepare to launch. Rescue services colleagues from Hastings and Rye Bay Coastguard teams, RNLI Rye Harbour and the Search & Rescue Helicopter 163 team from Lydd were also tasked to attend.

Our volunteers responded quickly to the call for assistance. Base and boat crews arrived at the Pett Level slipway and boathouse within minutes off pagers going off.

Happily, soon after arriving it was confirmed that the individual who had been in the water was already ashore. The swimmer was being attended to by Hastings and Rye Coastguards, who were first on the scene. The winchman from the Lydd Search & Rescue helicopter  team also gave support.

At this time, boat-based rescue services were ‘stood down’. Emergency medical teams arrived quickly on-scene to take over the care of the casualty, as reported in the Observer Online.

Thanks to everyone who was able to respond in this incident. Although it turned out that it wasn’t necessary for us to launch, it’s always good practice for us to arrive #rescueready at the boathouse. And of course, we’d always rather respond to a ‘shout’ and not be needed because a casualty is safe.

We’re pleased to have been of assistance in this incident and hope that the swimmer makes a good recovery.

*Images courtesy of Martin Geldart – do not use without permission* 

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.

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.

Barb’s Charity Shed & The ‘New Normal’

For those who have been missing Barb’s Charity Shed for their charity shopping, there’s a little bit of good news. Barbara is now re-opening the Charity Shed on Sunday mornings.

But, in the context of the ‘new normal’ there are a few things to be aware of … 


The Charity Shed is a significant fundraiser for us through the peak seasons of the year. With lockdown lifting, and more visitors coming to the local beached, Barb is keen to reopen the Charity Shed.

However, the ‘new normal’ means it’s impossible to run the shed as before. So, please could all visitors, supporters and customers of the Charity Shed could be aware that:

  • The shed will only open on Sunday mornings when the weather is fine to do so. In the event of any local flare up or additional risk in the area, the shed will not open. As such, opening times may be irregular compared to previous seasons.
  • The shed is open for charity shopping sales only. Please do not bring items down as donations (see below).
  • Customers are asked not to handle goods unless they are wearing gloves, or actually buying the item.
  • Social distancing guidance should be respected at all times. Customers should take turns browsing the tables at the shed.
  • Customers are also asked to respect Barbara’s social distancing and money-handling requirements.
  • Barbara’s without her mask for the photo so she could share her welcoming smile! However, whilst masks outdoors are not mandatory at the moment, wearing a mask whilst browsing at the Charity Shed would be appreciated.

No donated items thank you

The biggest change for the foreseeable future is that the charity shed is not open for donation of items to sell. Please do not drop off items at Barbara’s home or the boathouse. Donated good cannot be accepted, handled, quarantined or stored in a way which is safe for Barbara and her household.

Barbara’s an amazing volunteer who has raised thousands for Pett Level Independent Rescue Boat  in the 7 years she has been running the shed. So please, help us to keep her safe by respecting that the ‘new normal’ for the charity shed.

Thanks to everyone for their understanding and on-going support.




Whilst you’re here …

As a charity, everyone who’s involved in our independent rescue service is a volunteer. Our team constantly fundraise to cover all of our running costs, but CV19 has had a major impact on our ability to fundraise in the community.

Barbara’s charity shed is an example of this. Normally, the shed would have been open since Easter and would have raised a significant amount by now. The ‘new normal’ means that funds raised by the charity shed are likely to be around 95% down on previous years.

Instead of being able to support us through the Charity Shed, if you like the work we do and would like to support us, please consider a donation. Even the smallest donation helps and could make a real difference to those in danger on our local coastline.

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

Launching The PLIRB Charity Lottery Campaign

As many of our friends and supporters know, recent events mean we’ve had to expand our horizons when it comes to fundraising. And the exciting news is that we’re now onboard for online fundraising with The Weather Lottery.

Why an online charity lottery?

As is the case for many other UK charities, the CV-19 pandemic has seriously affected fundraising 2020. As an independent rescue charity receiving no government funding, this has had a major impact. At the very least each year, we have to maintain a level of fundraising to meet our running costs, which are around £8,000 a year and rising.

So, how could we help fix 2020’s fundraising fail?

Expand our horizons and move into the unchartered waters of online fundraising!

And how could we put a bit of FUN into online fundraising?

By joining the Weather Lottery!

The fun twist on this is that the weather is usually the thing that impacts on our fundraising when it comes to fetes and Open day! As stalwarts who supported us during the absolute downpour on 2018 ‘s Open Day know well)! In the case of the Weather Lottery, the weather is going to be nothing but helpful for us!

“Pett Level Independent Rescue Boat are one of our most recent societies to start their lottery fundraising journey. We are extremely excited to work with Pett Level Independent Rescue Boat.”

                                                                                                                                    Weather Lottery Team.

How to join in

For just £1 a week, our friends and supporters could win £25,000 in each weekly draw. As this is a charity lottery, all profits raised will come to Pett Level Independent Rescue Boat and will be vital in helping us to save lives at sea.

  • If you’d like to get involved, it’s very simple. The dedicated Pett Level Independent Rescue Boat page at the Weather Lottery can be found here.
  • If you’d prefer to look at the Weather Lottery to see what’s involved and how it works first, you can also visit the Weather Lottery’s How It Works page.
  • If anyone prefers a leaflet, these have just arrived (photo below). These will be placed in our leaflet box outside the boathouse for collection from 4th July 2020 – our official lottery launch date. If friends and supporters would like to help us with this campaign by sharing our leaflets at work, please contact us and we’ll get some dropped off to you (in a socially-distanced way, of course)!

Like what we do? Please support this campaign in whichever way you can

The service we provide, along this beautiful but hazardous stretch of the UK coastline, makes a difference to people on local beaches and in the water. It also supports the work of other rescue and emergency services who we work with regularly. These include local HM Coastguard teams, HM Search & Rescue based at Lydd, plus RNLI services at Hastings, Rye and Dungeness. We also work with Sussex Police and Border Force, and are recognised by these services for the role our volunteers fulfil along this part of the coastline.

Every penny raised from the Weather Lottery will help keep us afloat and saving lives, and we’d love your support in this. Here’s our page link again (yes, we’re a bit excited about this)!

Any support you can offer for our charity lottery campaign would certainly give a much-needed boost to our funds. And here’s the big plus, if you sign up to play in support of us, you also stand the chance of winning that £25,000 weekly prize! 

We realise that not everyone wants to participate in lotteries and of course we totally respect that. However, if you can’t participate yourself but would like to help us out that would be amazing. Sharing this blog post and our social media updates or passing on a few leaflets to friends who might like to join in would all be appreciated by us.

Looking forward to sharing more on this later but in the meantime, a big thank you from all of us at Pett Level Independent Rescue Boat.

PLIRB Search and Rescue for Missing Person

On Thursday 25th June, Pett Level Independent Rescue Boat teams were tasked to support HM Coastguards in a search and rescue incident.

At approximately 11:15 am, our teams were  tasked by Solent Coastguard to launch and assist in the search for a person who was thought to be missing along the coastline of the Fairlight and Ecclesbourne Glen areas. Also involved were local  Bexhill and Hastings Coastguard teams, Sussex Police, RNLI Hastings and the Lydd Search and Rescue Helicopter team.

Although a busy work morning, several of our volunteers were able to respond to the call for assistance, with enough crew for our Pulfer Boat to be launched within approximately 15 minutes of the initial call.

Once launched, the boat crew was directed to Fairlight Cove to liaise with Hastings Coastguards who were already searching the area for the missing person. At this stage, RNLI Hastings were stood down. With our Pulfer boat being an inshore vessel, the PLIRB crew were able to get ashore to pick up the Hastings Coastguard team and take them to another search location by boat. Those on board continued to search the water and coastline on the way. The Lydd Search and Rescue helicopter team searched from the air, as reported in the Observer Online at the time.

Once at the alternative beach location at Ecclesbourne Glen, members of the public supported the search and rescue teams with information about when the man was last seen in the area. At this time, Sussex Police were also responding to reports and making enquiries in the man’s local area. As a result of this, the call came through that the missing person had been located at home.

Recovery and clean up – Covid-style!

At this point, our crew returned to the boathouse, bringing the Hastings Maritime & Coastguard team back to shore with them. As usual, our beach and base volunteer teams supported the boat crew in getting the boat safely recovered to the boathouse.

Currently, getting cleaned up takes a good while longer, due to the additional measures in place to make the premises and equipment as Covid-secure as possible. However, many hands made much lighter work and our volunteers were able to make good time in getting everythig ship-shape and rescue-ready for next time.

Thanks to everyone who was able to respond in this search and rescue incident. We’re pleased to have been of assistance and we’re very happy that the missing person was found safe and well.

We’d also like to say a big thank you to members of the public who were using the beach, but moved cheerfully and quickly out of the way so that we could launch and recover the boat quickly, safely and with social distancing in mind. We appreciate your co-operation – it makes the work of our volunteers so much easier!

*Archive photo of our Pulfer boat in action* 

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.

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.