When training turns real

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Rye Harbour lifeboat Hello Herbie II responding swiftly to a shout

On Sunday afternoon, August 23 the RNLI Rye Harbour lifeboat was up at Rock Channel in Rye on a training exercise when an immediate tasking call came through. The RNLI lifeboat and volunteer crew were requested to attend an incident off Pett Level where a windsurfer was in difficulty 200-300 metres from the shore. A local lady at Pett Level had seen the windsurfer was in trouble and had called 999.

Matt Ellis, RNLI helm on the boat, said that they set off quickly down the river making best speed. The sea was moderate, but there were high winds. When they arrived at Pett Level they made visual contact with Police Community Support Officer Georghiou at the scene and he pointed to further down the beach. The area was searched,  but the casualty had made it back to shore by this time. Lifeboat Hello Herbie II returned to the Harbour and the casualty care training session continued.

Tia Bolton was one of the crew out training when her session turned into her first shout. Tia commented, ‘It was absolutely brilliant to be able to take part in this shout. It was my first one since progressing from shore crew to boat crew. I look forward to many more shouts to come. All the hard work that we put into training paid off and it was good to be part of such a dedicated team.’

Lifeboat operations manager Paul Bolton, also Tia’s father, said, ‘It was great to see the crew back in training and I would like to thank all those who turned out and gave up their weekend to carry on the vital work of training whilst complying with all the Covid guidelines to keep them safe. This enables us to be a strong team and to respond quickly when called out as indeed we were this afternoon.’

Image Credits: Paul Bolton .

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