Double first for RNLI

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Stuart Clark's first shout as helm

On Thursday, April 1 RNLI Rye Harbour was tasked at 4:05pm by the Solent Coastguard to assist an 8 metre yacht in difficulties at Rock Channel, as there was concern that she would tip over and the owner had called for help.

Stuart Clark commented: “It was a fantastic privilege to helm my first shout, even though because it was the first of April I seriously thought someone was pulling my leg when the pagers went off. It was a relatively simple tasking, helping a grounded yacht in the river to re-float and tow her back to her mooring after engine failure.

“It was made more complicated by a quickly ebbing tide and blustery winds with a mixed concern over skill fade which brought our task into sharp focus. However, I needn’t have worried, as both shore and boat crews’ continued commitment to training, online through lockdown, and in recent weeks face-to-face and afloat in ‘bubbles’, meant that everything kicked in at the right time and crews worked as one to accomplish a successful outcome. I was very proud of everyone involved.”

This was Stuart’s first shout as helm and for Tim Dickinson, who drove the tractor, it was his first shout as the operator.

Rye Harbour has a fantastic record of continued training throughout lockdown and, when it was not possible to be at the boathouse, crew members were all studying at home and buddying up virtually with crew members to test each other’s knowledge.

RNLI Hastings and Port Talbot have also been virtually training on Teams every Wednesday to keep skills sharp and to share knowledge and best practice. And there is certainly a wonderful buzz at Rye Harbour at the moment as volunteers have embraced the restrictions of lockdown and made them work to their advantage.

Image Credits: ktbruce .

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