Lifeguards rescue men after dinghy crashes into harbour wall

Camber Sands lifeguards Jake Webb and Brett Wood. Photo courtesy of RNLI.  SUS-170724-115450001
Camber Sands lifeguards Jake Webb and Brett Wood. Photo courtesy of RNLI. SUS-170724-115450001

Two men whose dinghy smashed against the harbour wall at Rye were rescued by lifeguards at Camber Sands.

The lifeguards used one of the charity’s inshore rescue watercrafts to enable them to be first on the scene.

Lifeguards Jake Webb and Brett Wood were about to finish their shift at Camber Sands central beach on Tuesday (July 17) when, just before 6pm, they were alerted by the UK Coastguard to a dinghy with three men aboard that had been blown into the harbour wall after its engine failed.

Jake and Brett, who are both from Australia, immediately launched an RNLI rescue jet ski and headed from the beach to the harbour. They were on scene within two minutes and discovered a 15ft fibreglass dinghy with one man on board and one man in the water between the boat and the harbour wall. A third man had already swum to shore.

None of the men were wearing life-jackets and the man in the boat was a non-swimmer. The lifeguards used the jet ski to take both men safely to the beach before the Rye lifeboat arrived and was able to tow the dinghy back to shore.

Acting senior lifeguard Jake said: “For me it’s all part of the job. The men were in a dangerous situation between the harbour and the wall and both were very thankful when we put them on the beach.”

RNLI lifeguard supervisor Joe Mitchell said: “Our lifeguards receive world-class training and this rescue demonstrates just how versatile they can be.

“Mechanical breakdowns are always a possibility and we’d advise people to carry safety equipment, such as life-jackets, in case the worse happens.”

Last year RNLI lifeguards saved 127 lives, attended 17,414 incidents and helped 20,538 people. The charity’s 1,300 lifeguards patrol more than 240 beaches across the UK and Channel Islands.

RNLI lifeguards, who began patrols on Camber Sands earlier this summer, are based at two locations on the beach.

Four lifeguards began patrolling on Camber Sands central beach on May 27 and will remain there until October 1.

A further two lifeguards began patrolling Camber Sands west beach from July 8 and will stay there until September 10.

The lifeguards at both beaches are in place seven days a week from 10am to 6pm.