An emergency call for the lifeboat on Saturday January 12, was met at lightning speed. It came in as the station was filled with crew taking part in training exercises.
From early morning the RNLI lifeboat station at Rye Harbour had been full of new recruits and more experienced crew taking part in the first of three intensive training days. So when a request was received to go to the aid of a 26ft angling vessel in the harbour itself that was apparently taking on water, Hello Herbie II, the Atlantic 85 inshore lifeboat, was launched within minutes.
An observant boat-owner had noticed and reported that a moored vessel was in trouble: fortunately no one was found on board but it was judged to be in danger of sinking so crew members deployed salvage pumps which swiftly emptied the water from the boat.
For one recruit, Rob Jennings, who joined in September last year, training became the real thing as he participated in his first shout. Helm Tony Peters remarked wryly that it was not often that he had so many potential crew from which to choose. “Rob and the other recruits have worked hard,” he said, “and he was already at a point at which he could safely participate. He was lucky this time – there were others just as ready.
“Without doubt the swiftness of response both saved a vessel at risk of sinking and helped to prevent the negative environmental consequences of spillage.”
Image Credits: Martin Bruce , Stuart Clark , KT Bruce .