Two more tractor drivers qualify and strengthen RNLI Rye Harbour's shore crew

Lifeboats News Release

Monday 14 October was a significant day for RNLI Rye Harbour as two more tractor drivers, Stuart Clark and Bob Staverley,were assessed and passed out, making a very strong team of eight which can cover during the day and around the clock.


Two successful tractor drivers pass their assessment today

The rôle of the Tractor Driver is to take charge of the launch vehicle and rig during the launch and recovery of the ILB (Inshore Lifeboat) for services and exercises under the direction of the Head Launcher or Helmsman; to maintain competence under Competency Based Training (CoBT); and to contribute to the operational efficiency of the station, lifeboats and equipment. It is a vital rôle because the boat cannot launch without a tractor driver and the equipment must be maintained to a high standard at all times.

This assessment is a team effort because there needed to be two launches which required shore crew and a boat crew. Our volunteers were ready to give up a day off or took time off from work to enable it to happen. It is a strong committed team at Rye Harbour with everyone encouraging each other to maintain this high level of training and assisting throughout the assessment.

Paul Watling, Assessor/Trainer Plant & Machinery, said, ‘It is good to see the commitment at Rye Harbour to this high standard of training. There are now eight trained and qualified tractor drivers and it is great to have this level of resilience to answer the station’s needs.’


the launching of Hello Herbie II during the tractor assessment


Bob Staverley guiding the tractor into the boathouse


the crew on board: Jamie, Tim B, Joe P and Luke


washing off once the assessments were over


tractor at RNLI Rye Harbour

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.