Rescue drama at Rye Harbour

Open Day Rescue SUS-170727-123725001
Open Day Rescue SUS-170727-123725001

Drama unfolded at Rye Harbour Lifeboat Station’s Open Day on Saturday when the lifeboat was called out to a rescue.

Crew members were giving demonstrations to the public and putting the harbour boat Hello Herbie II through its paces when they spotted a father and his two young children, in their small inflatable dinghy who were in trouble at the mouth of the River Rother, after an outboard motor failed.

As they gave assistance to hold the dinghy off the river bank it became obvious that the outboard motor refused to start, so they took the two children on board and towed the dinghy back to the safety of the lifeboat slipway.

This was the first rescue carried out under the control of the new Lifeboat Operations Manager, Tony Edwards, who said: “This wasn’t the most difficult task for the crew volunteers to undertake but we are here to ensure the safety of all members of the public in all circumstances.

“Events such as this can quickly escalate out of control and can become dangerous, especially in such a small vessel with two young children on board.”

Rye Harbour lifeboat station celebrated its Open Day on Saturday and as many people turned out to support the RNLI charity and enjoy the events.

The rescue happened as crowds were enjoying RNLI mascot Stormy Sam, dancing with the Cinque Ports Morris Men.

Tony Edwards said: “The Open Day was very enjoyable for all who attended and we are grateful to everyone who gave their time and effort to make it such a great success.

The RNLI wants to make people aware of its Respect the Water drowning prevention campaign.

The campaign highlights the risks, advises how to avoid danger and survive in an emergency situation. Know what to do – visit

In 2016 more than 2,000 people were rescued from the seas around the south east coast of England in 2016, prompting a plea from the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) for people to take more care at the coast and respect water.

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