Delivering at work and delivering for the RNLI Rye Harbour

Lifeboats News Release

Precision of communication is important, more important than ever, in our era of instant responses.

Martin Bruce /KT Bruce

Natalie Arter postwoman and volunteer lifeboat crew member
Effective communication between the crew on a shout or to a member of the public in distress or danger is a vital skill to have. Natalie Arter, volunteer crew member at RNLI Rye Harbour, is not only a good communicator but delivers communications daily basis in her day-time job as a postwoman at Rye delivery office.

Natalie was born in Sutton, Surrey, but moved to Camber aged three years old with her mum and older brother. She has lived in Rye for the last sixteen years with her children Daniel, aged seventeen, and daughter Summer, who is twelve. She was educated locally at Thomas Peacock School and admits that although being at school was fine, she was not very academic.

Growing up she first wanted to be a lifeguard and then an air-hostess. She studied travel and tourism in the sixth form but being hands-on rather than studying suited her better. She travelled to Spain to gain experience and did a season of bar work. She enjoyed working with a variety of people from different backgrounds and communicated well with the clientele.

One of Natalie's strengths is coping well in stressful situations and keeping people calm around her. She joined the RNLI in 2017 and says it was one of the best decisions that she has made. She has gained many new skills, keeping her brain sharp and alert. Natalie especially enjoys the training. There is a really good programme running at each individual's pace, depending upon other outside commitments. There is a great deal of help from more senior crew-members to keep Natalie energised and focused. She has also been to Head Office in Poole to learn sea survival skills and casualty care, which she really enjoyed.

Natalie also joined the Post Office in 2017, having been manager of the Granary Club for many successful years. Her job keeps her active and fit which is essential for any crew-member. Both rôles involve working with the general public and good communication skills enable Natalie to do these jobs well. Her children are very proud of her.

Tony Peters, Helm at Rye Harbour, sums her up: 'Nat came to us with big shoes to fill following her brother's successful time at the station. Not only did she cope with this pressure but she shone out proving to be a capable member of the crew and is very good in bolstering general morale. She shows massive strength by confronting difficult tasks and training to make sure things are perfect for the future. Lastly, Nat has a great ability to converse with people on all levels making stressful situations less traumatic.'


Natalie with her daughter Summer at the Lifeboat station


Natalie training on the river: rope handling module


Low water training at the river mouth at Rye Harbour


Natalie returning from a shout


Natalie with her fellow crew members

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 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and more than 240 lifeguard units on beaches around the UK and Channel Islands. 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 142,700 lives.

Learn more about the RNLI

For more information please visit the RNLI website or Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. News releases, videos and photos are available on the News Centre.

Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries

Members of the public may contact the RNLI on 0300 300 9990 (UK) or 1800 991802 (Ireland) or by email.