A low-water launch

Washing down after the safe rescue of the yacht and casualties

On Saturday, October 23 at 7:13pm RNLI Rye Harbour was tasked by HM Coastguard to assist a yacht with engine failure. The boat was drifting towards Winchelsea beach with an 80 year-old skipper and two crew. By the time the lifeboat reached the vessel it had run aground on Camber beach. The helm, Tim Dickinson, assessed the situation and a tow was established. The boat and casualties were taken to the nearest safe harbour, Rye Harbour. At the scene were members of the Rye Bay and Dungeness coastguards and a paramedic. Jeff, the skipper, was suffering from a fall and one of the crew had a suspected dislocated shoulder. The crew had discovered that the boat had a fractured fuel pipe and the contents of the fuel tank were in the bilge.

The boat will be taken to its mooring in Rye on Sunday morning once there is enough water in the river, to assess the faults and rectify them. Jeff, the skipper, remarked today when we rang to see how he was, “The RNLI and the other emergency services were absolutely brilliant. At all times they were kind and helpful. I can’t thank them all enough”

Tim Dickinson summed up the shout. “It was a great team effort with a positive outcome. The shore crew had to contend with a low water launch which has its challenges, especially in the dark. This was carried out swiftly and we were able to launch and assist the casualty really quickly.”

Boat Crew: Tim Dickinson, Stuart Clark, Tim Brown and Rob Jennings.
Shore crew: Tia and Izzy Bolton, Brendan Towner, James Arter and Jack Iliffe.
Tractor driver Gary Collard.

Paul Bolton, lifeboat operations manager, said, “Low water launches can be tricky because of the terrain of the shelving beach and the mud at low tide. The crew has trained to cope with this situation in practice so it was good to see that under pressure they rose to the challenge and the boat was brought to safety with those on board. As always we work alongside the other emergency services and everyone who took part deserves to be congratulated for their calmness and professionalism.”

Image Credits: Kt Bruce .


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