Midnight drama of low-water launch


On Wednesday June 14, RNLI Rye Harbour’s boat Hello Herbie II was launched in response to reports of a capsized dingy/kayak floating in the water. The tide was too low to launch the lifeboat in the River Rother so the lifeboat had to be towed by the tractor down the riverside to launch directly into the sea. The sea is 1.5 kms from the boathouse and at times is a long way out which necessitates a well-planned launch by the shore crew’s head launcher backed up with a team behind him. It is a precise operation which is more difficult in the middle of the night.

The pagers had gone off at 1.00am in the morning but this did not deter the dedicated crew members who had turned out to the launch of the Atlantic 85. On arriving at the scene the crew discovered that the floating object was, in fact, a mooring buoy. The boat returned to the lifeboat station having to brought back in the same way as it had entered the sea. This was a shout of ‘good intent’, and it is always best to be safe rather than sorry.

Paul Bolton, the operations manager at the Rye Harbour RNLI Lifeboat station, commented in the early hours of the morning: “Well done, RNLI Rye Harbour: a low-water launch is demanding and requires precision and a high level of competence. All the training that you have been engaged in has paid off.”

Image Credits: Martin Geldart .

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