Rescue Boat’s SOS

SOS charity bike ride for Pett Level Independent Rescue Boat
SOS Pedal for PLIRB training

Pett Level Independent Rescue Boat (PLIRB) is among many self-funded local charities who are reeling from the considerable impact of coronavirus on their ability to fundraise.

But a chance conversation between one of the charity’s volunteers and a local business colleague has led to a switch of roles. Instead of being the ones responding to an SOS situation, PLIRB is going to be on the receiving end of a rescue bid, as Sean O’Sullivan, the man behind SOS Entertainment Party, puts his best foot forward to help.

Sean’s original plan was to raise funds for the PLIRB by cycling the 55 mile London to Brighton Bike Ride. However, this plan fell through when Sean received notification from the organisers that 2020’s cycle challenge has been postponed to 2021.

Undeterred, Sean has instead organised his own 54 mile route which he will cycle on Saturday, September 26 still hoping to raise funds for the PLIRB as he goes. Sean will now set off from Rye Harbour, cycle through into Kent and return along the coast, finishing at the PLIRB boathouse.

“I work with two people who volunteer with Pett Level Independent Rescue Boat,” Sean shared. “So, I know the struggle the charity has with being self-funded at such a difficult time. Because they work alongside the RNLI in some incidents, people think they’re getting the same sort of money from the government. But the truth of it is they have to raise all their own funds, including their running costs.

“Family members persuaded me to sign up for the London to Brighton bike ride so I thought, if I’m going to do it, why don’t I raise money for the rescue boat at the same time? The ride is now cancelled for this year, but charities still need help, so I’m sticking with my plan, just changing the route and the date!”

Sean’s hoping to complete his 54 mile in around 5 hours, but of course this depends on his current training and issues such as weather, traffic or even local lockdowns on the day.

Sean receives donation pots from PLIRB volunteer John Crowther, which he hopes to fill as part of his charity bike ride.

PLIRB volunteers plan to open the boathouse to greet Sean (in a Covid-compliant way) at the end of his gruelling cycle ride, where he’ll find out the final total in his bid to boost the boat’s funds.

John Crowther, a colleague of Sean’s and volunteer at PLIRB said:

“Sean’s really recognised the issues faced by our charity at the moment, and it’s amazing that he’s prepared to go to such lengths – miles, in fact – to help out. It’s even more phenomenal that, despite the main event being cancelled, Sean’s prepared to go it alone not only to meet the challenge he’s set himself, but also to help the rescue boat meet the financial challenges of this very difficult time. We’re looking forward to sharing news about Sean’s training progress and his pedal power on the day, and all our volunteers wish him well!”

The current total donated so far for Sean’s charity bike ride means he’s already raised the equivalent of £5 for every mile he completes of his route. But to add FUN to the fundraising challenge, a goal of £10 per mile has been set in the hope of raising a clear £500+ for the charity. If anyone would like to get involved in supporting Sean’s efforts, a dedicated donation page has been set up and donations to help Sean meet that £10 a mile goal would be gratefully received.

If you would like to know more about Pett Level Independent Rescue Boat please visit If you would like to know more about Sean O’Sullivan and SOSEntertainment Party, please visit

Image Credits: Sean O'Sullivan .


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