As darkness fell on Saturday, January 12, volunteer crew at Rye Harbour RNLI were able to respond to a call for help with lightning speed.
From early morning, the lifeboat station had been full of new recruits and more experienced personnel taking part in the first of three intensive, planned training days.
So when a request was received to help a 26-foot angling vessel in the harbour that was apparently taking on water, Hello Herbie II, the Atlantic 85 inshore lifeboat, was launched within minutes.
An observant boat-owner had noticed and reported that a moored vessel was in trouble: fortunately no one was found on board but it was judged to be in danger of sinking, so crew members deployed salvage pumps which swiftly emptied the water from the boat.
For one recruit, Rob Jennings, who joined in September last year, training became ‘the real thing’ as he participated in his first shout.
Helm Tony Peters remarked wryly that it was not often that he had so many potential crew from which to choose. He said: “Rob and the other recruits have worked hard and he was already at a point at which he could safely participate. He was lucky this time – there were others just as ready. Without doubt the swiftness of response both saved a vessel at risk of sinking and helped to prevent the negative environmental consequences of spillage.”