At 6.45 pm on Sunday January 29 HM Coastguard tasked RNLI Rye Harbour to assist a stricken vessel off the coast near Jurys Gap. The response to the pagers was fast, efficient and by 6.58 pm the Atlantic 85 was heading down river towards the sea.
The crew soon located the craft, a 27ft yacht with engine difficulties. “The single yachtsman was feeling unwell,” said Rob Jennings, crew-member, “and conditions were worsening so he was glad to see us. I went aboard to offer assistance and set up the tow, remaining on board.” Once the tow was established Dutch Courage was safely brought up the river into Rye Harbour, securely tied up to the wharf and the skipper taken to the crew room for tea and biscuits and a chance to warm up. The problem was diagnosed as a broken fan belt. Time was of the essence, because of the impending low tide which would make travelling up the river difficult for the yacht with its keel. Luckily it all came together well and there was a successful outcome to the rescue.
DLA (Deputy Launching Authority) Neil Jolly summed up the shout: “I was very impressed with the professionalism of the team tonight at Rye Harbour. They have been training hard over the winter months and put all this into practice. The turnout of the boat and shore crew was terrific and the speed of the launch was impressive. It is good to see everyone working together as a team and saving lives at sea.”
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.