Lifeboats in action as hot weather sparks more sea rescues on Rye coastline

THE continuing heat-wave saw more bathers being rescued at Camber Sands at the weekend as thousands headed for the coast.

Rye Harbour Lifeboat and Pett Level Rescue Boat were both in action with Sunday being particularly busy.

Pett Level Rescue Boat chairman Steve Hill said: “At 11am Dover Coastguard contacted us to attend at Camber beach after a few inflatables were being blown out to sea by an off shore breeze. We joined Rye Lifeboat and attended to several missing children reports.

“At 1pm we put on a fresh crew. The first crew had just got back to the boat house and Dover Coastguard asked if we could take over a tow of a broken down speed boat currently being towed to Rye Harbour by Hastings inshore.

“The first crew then took the smaller inshore boat Pett Tornado down to Camber so that the larger Pett Level rescue boat could take the tow to Rye.

“The Tornado stayed at Camber until 5pm when it was stood down after assisting in many searches for missing children and guiding inflatables back to shore. We safely towed the speedboat back to Rye Harbour and returned to station.

“As soon as Pett Tornado got ashore at Pett slip it was asked to relaunch immediately to investigate a sailing boat without a mast.

“In fact the French coastguard had been contacted by the family of a French sailor who had not been heard of for some time. They passed this information to Dover Coastguard.

“Once Pett tornado came alongside the boat it became clear this was the missing Frenchman.

“He had just purchased the yatch to fix up and had no radio and his mobile hadn’t any charge left. He said his intention was to spend the night at Rye and cross to France the next day. All this information was passed on to Dover Coastguard and back to the family in France.

“On the return of Pett Tornado to Pett slip a new crew was ready to take the boat back out again to a report on another speedboat that had broken down and beached at the Haddocks Fairlight. The owners had intended to wait for the tide to start to flood and then float their boat back to Pett slip and then recover. Yet another crew was put on stand by in case of any problems. The owners succeeded in their plan and managed to get the boat back to the slip.”