News release


The RNLI is the charity that saves lives at sea

Date: 30/08/2009

Rye Harbour 021/2009


Busy day at Rye Harbour: some want help, others don't

Rye Harbour RNLI relief Lifeboat B762 'Jack & Joyce Burcombe' launched on service on 23/08/2009 at 12.54 pm. Dover Coastguard requested the launch or Rye Harbour Lifeboat to go to the aid of a Labrador dog swimming out to sea, off of Broom Hill beach, just east of Camber Sands. The Lifeboat was with the casualty at 1.08 pm. The dog, whilst completely exhausted, was reluctant to come to the Lifeboat so a member of the crew entered the water and swam to the dog. At this point the dog gave up without a struggle. The dog and crew member were recovered into the Lifeboat and returned to shore where the dog was reunited with a very grateful owner.

At 1.15 pm Lifeboat B762 returned to station and was ready for service at 1.35 pm. Just as the Lifeboat had been made ready for service, a member of the public arrived at the Lifeboat station to report that a speedboat was in trouble just west of Rye Harbour entrance. The crew, who were still at the station, were alerted and Lifeboat B762 was launched at 1.40 pm. The Lifeboat was on scene at 1.45 pm and nothing was found.

It was at this time that the Operations Manager, Richard Tollett, noticed that a boat fitting the description was moored up at the Public Slipway in Rye Harbour - next to the Lifeboat house. Deputy Launching Authority, Tony Edwards located the owner of the vessel and enquired if he had been in trouble - the owner confirmed that he had been in trouble. When DLA Edwards explained that the Lifeboat was at sea searching for him, the man replied 'tough! The Lifeboat ought to have got there sooner'

When the Operations Manager heard about the attitude of the boat owner, he went and explained that a concerned member of the public had rushed back form the beach to get assistance - which resulted in the RNLI volunteers giving up their time to go to his aid and all he needed to do was to tell someone that his problems had been corrected.

The owner of the speedboat apologised for his earlier remarks. The Lifeboat was informed that the casualty had made his own way ashore. Lifeboat B762 returned to station and was ready for service at 2.20 pm.

Richard Tollett, RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager for Rye Harbour RNLI Lifeboat Station, said: ‘Today's shouts give an idea of the spectrum of incidents that we are called out to attend. Regular training is vital to allow our volunteer crews to go to sea and save lives. Today, only 1 in 10 crew members joins the RNLI from a professional maritime occupation.’

Notes to editors

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Key facts about the RNLI
The RNLI charity saves lives at sea. Its volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service around the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland coasts. The RNLI operates over 230 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and has more than 100 lifeguard units on beaches around the UK. The RNLI is independent of Coastguard and government and depends on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824 its lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved over 137,000 lives.

A charity registered in England and Wales (209603) and Scotland (SCO37736). Charity number CHY 2678 in the Republic of Ireland