This week’s training down at the Pett Beach boathouse was one where everything came together to result in a fantastic session!

First up, the weather was fabulous and conditions calm and fair. As planned, the Pulfer boat was launched but instead of a training session involving our other boat, we were invited to a joint training session with the Hastings RNLI crew.

Both teams met up with boats just off the Fairlight cliffs end of the coast. Much as we love their Shannon boat, it was great to see that the RNLI Hastings were using their smaller inshore rescue boat for the training session. This meant that both teams were able to practice alongside a comparably sized boat.

For approximately an hour we all worked together across different assistance and rescue scenarios:
  • Towing –  this activity included getting tow lines across to the other boat and, where necessary, ensuring that the other team was able to attach the tow line successfully.
  • Man overboard – there were a couple of Impromptu man overboard tasks to help rehearse recovering a person from the sea.
  • Running alongside – this is great practice for the helms of both boats as it involves travelling at speed and being able to manoeuvre one boat alongside another at the same speed. 

The RNLI Hastings team certainly kept our crews on their toes across the training, by adding scenarios into the activities. For instance, at one stage pretending there was no one able to attach the tow to their boat. In response, one of our trainees had to transfer across to do this for them, something which is quite probable in an assistance scenario where the person available to receive the rope may not be capable to attaching the tow.

In all, the session was highly successful. It really was a great training opportunity and very valuable to us to be able to practice manoeuvres with another team and boat.

As local Shouts often involve all local teams working alongside each other, it’s also particularly beneficial to practice working with the RNLI, especially as we’re currently right at the start of what could be a very busy season down at the beach. Thanks to everyone involved for making this training such a success.