A quick update on what’s been happening at out boathouse in recent weeks and what’s coming up for us now that we’ve hit July …
Since returning to the boathouse once restrictions started to ease in March (at least for outside activities), our volunteers have been pretty busy. We’ve not just been getting back into old routines, but also adjusting these to take the ‘new normal’ into account.
Then, with the arrival of Easter and a round of restrictions lifting in April, local beaches started getting much busier. This has meant that our volunteer beach, base and boat crews have been involved in incident support and first aid to such an extent that we’ve had a rota of volunteer presence at the boathouse on both weekend days throughout May and June. This will continue across the summer as we’ve had several call-outs which have benefited from our rescue-ready presence.
As part of this increased presence at the boathouse, we’re also regularly giving First Aid support on the weekends. As we anticipate a continued demand for this as the summer holidays progress, we’re happy to provide this community service as long as we have volunteers available.
To support us with accident prevention, if you have visitors staying with you this summer, please make visitors aware of how easy it is to slip, trip and fall on the rocks and other hazards on local beaches.
Drowning Prevention Week
Whilst we’re talking about prevention, we’re also happy to share that we took part in the Royal Life Saving Society’s Drowning Awareness Week in June. The aim of the week is to raise awareness about drowning prevention and for our own part, we wanted to also share messages of how to reduce risk at local beaches. We’ve dedicated a blog post to this, so information and RLSS links and resources can be available across the other 52 weeks of the year too!
Communications Upgrade Project
We also happy to share some exciting news about our Communications Project. Although we still have a little way to go with raising all the funds we need to upgrade the hardware used by our beach crews too, the dashboard platform and helmet bluetooth system for the Pulfer boat and its crews have now been successfully installed.
Already, this has made a huge difference in terms of clarity of communications. The system has the added benefits of being entirely hands-free for boat crew and is fully compatible with systems used by HM Coastguard, Search and Rescue helicopter teams and the RNLI, so our collaborative communications should now be much more effective when we are involved in multi-services incidents or taking part in joint training with our emergency services colleagues.
With the continuation of the communications upgrade project, as well as all the usual costs of repairs to equipment and the need to ensure we have the running costs for next year covered, we have several fundraising activities planned. Of course, like everyone else, we’re waiting to see what 19th July brings but in the meantime, restrictions-permitting, our fundraising and events calendar is looking like this:
- We have been invited to take our Tornado boat, donation buckets and merchandise along to the Co-op at Winchelsesa Beach on Saturday 24th July and 31st July, so please come along and say hello.
- We’ll also be coming up to be a part of Icklesham Fete on 7th August and Winchelsea Fete on August 14th, so again please come and see us to chat about the work we do or find out more about volunteering with us.
- Our rescheduled Open Day is still planned for Sunday 29th August. This includes the Homewood Leisure Hot Tub Grand Draw. Tickets will be available right up to the draw date, including at our boathouse and at Winchelsea Fete. Tickets are also available from Fairlight Stores and Post Office, from The Old Butcher’s, Pett and of course from the generous donor, Homewood Leisure.
- Our 2022 calendar photo competition. This competition is starting to gain momentum but plenty more entries would be welcome well before the closing date.
We look forward to updating you further as things open up a little more. In the meantime, #staysafe and #beachaware out there.
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We’re an independent charity run solely by volunteers.
We receive no government or central funding and have to fundraise every penny needed to buy and maintain our equipment and to pay our considerable running costs.
Since the start of 2020, our running costs have increased to around £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.