Lifeboat launches three times

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The yacht being shadowed by the lifeboat safely back to the Harbour

Sunday July 14 proved to be busy for members of RNLI Rye Harbour’s volunteer lifeboat crew

A planned early-morning joint training exercise with flank station Littlestone started the day, building on a similar combined exercise the previous weekend. The focus this time was the safe towing of vessels.

No sooner had the inshore lifeboat Hello Herbie II returned to the Harbour to be washed down and prepared for service than at 12:19pm there was a request from HM Coastguard to attend a sailing vessel that had become grounded on a sandbar off Camber Beach. Helm Tony Peters appraised the situation on arrival and it was concluded that nothing could be done to refloat the yacht until the water level rose with the tide.

The vessel’s owner chose to stay on board, monitored during the day by lifeguards at Camber and by HM Coastguard. At 8:14pm the lifeboat launched again: the refloating was successful and crew-member Matt Ellis transferred from lifeboat to yacht to ensure that all was well whilst it was escorted back up the River Rother to a safe mooring.

Paul Bolton, Lifeboat Operations Manager, commented: “Our crews today worked tirelessly to achieve a safe outcome for the yacht and its owner. They showed a high level of professionalism and their many hours of training paid off as the operation was carried out efficiently and safely. The strong sense of commitment at Rye Harbour to saving lives at sea was shown by the number of volunteer crew at the station to support the shout.”

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