Rescue teams called to grounded yacht in Rye

Rescue teams were called to Rock Channel to assist a yacht that had become grounded.

Tuesday, 6th April 2021, 12:20 pm

RNLI Rye Harbour was called to the scene by the Solent Coastguard at 4.05pm on Thursday (April 1).

There was concern the eight-metre yacht would tip over in the high winds after the owner called for help.

Stuart Clark, from RNLI Rye Harbour, said: “It was a fantastic privilege to helm my first shout, even though because it was the first of April I seriously thought someone was pulling my leg when the pagers went off.

RNLI Rye Harbour SUS-210604-120942001
RNLI Rye Harbour SUS-210604-120942001

“It was a relatively simple tasking, helping a grounded yacht in the river to re-float and tow her back to her mooring after engine failure.

“It was made more complicated by a quickly ebbing tide and blustery winds with a mixed concern over skill fade which brought our task into sharp focus. However, I needn’t have worried, as both shore and boat crews’ continued commitment to training, online through lockdown, and in recent weeks face-to-face and afloat in ‘bubbles’, meant that everything kicked in at the right time and crews worked as one to accomplish a successful outcome. I was very proud of everyone involved.”

The rescue was Stuart’s first as helm and for Tim Dickinson, who drove the tractor, it was his first shout as the operator.

Rye Harbour said the rescue was made possible thanks to training that continued throughout lockdown. When it was not possible to be at the boathouse, crew members were all studying at home and buddying up virtually with crew members to test each other’s knowledge.

RNLI Hastings and Port Talbot have also been virtually training on ‘Teams’ every Wednesday to keep skills sharp and to share knowledge and best practice.

A spokesman for Rye Harbour said: “There is certainly a wonderful buzz at Rye Harbour at the moment. Volunteers have embraced the restrictions of lockdown and made them work to their advantage.”