Rye Harbour Lifeboat Station

Rye Harbour Lifeboat crew launched to rescue a Cavalier King Charles spaniel ‘Lotty’ on 27 July. The dog had jumped into the River Rother at Rye Harbour entrance, whilst chasing seagulls.

The crew borrowed a 3.5m RIB (rigid inflatable boat) from Henk Ruysch, owner of Rye Harbour Marine as there was not enough water in the river to launch the RNLI Relief Lifeboat, B-722 ‘Beatrice Dorothy’. Three crew members and Lotty’s owner, David Gare, made their way to the casualty arriving at 12.37 pm. Lotty was recovered into the Lifeboat which arrived back at station at 1 pm.

Tony Edwards, RNLI Deputy Launching Authority at Rye Harbour Lifeboat station said: ‘This type of rescue is not uncommon here at Rye Harbour; we have several shouts to dogs in the river each year. Since 18 October 2007, we have rescued four dogs from the River Rother. During 2007 the RNLI launched 108 times to animals resulting in 60 being rescued. Out of the 60 animals rescued, 40 were dogs.


RNLI relief Lifeboat B722 ‘Beatrice Dorothy’ launched to two 14 year old twins who had become stranded on the Red Light at Rye Harbour entrance. The Lifeboat arrived four minutes later, recovering the boys into the Lifeboat and returning them to the Lifeboat station. The boys, staying at Frenchman’s Beach holiday park, were at the beach with their family. They took a paddle which turned into a swim.

They swam out to the Red Light but their mother told them to stay put. Richard Tollett, Lifeboat Operations Manager at Rye Harbour RNLI Lifeboat station, said: “it was prime conditions for a shout – sunny weather, wind off the land. Although the red light doesn’t seem far from the shore, it is a fair distance to swim and the current is strong at the entrance to Rye Harbour. The boys’ mother had presence of mind to tell them to stay put; the situation could have had a tragic outcome.”

Whether rescuing an offshore fisherman or a child swept out to sea, the RNLI exists to put life first. The RNLI rescues an average of four young people every day.’


RNLI relief Lifeboat B722 ‘Beatrice Dorothy’ launched on service to broken down cabin cruiser ‘Son Et-Lumiere’ – suffering fuel problems and dragging her anchor east of the KitKat cafe at Camber.

Lifeboat B722 arrived at the casualty at 3.40 pm and took the casualty in tow. Whilst heading back to Rye Harbour the crew of the Lifeboat observed a capsized 3.5 metre sailing catamaran with a single occupant having difficulty righting the boat, Dover.Coastguard tasked Rye Harbour RNLI Lifeboat to give priority and assist the capsized catamaran. The Lifeboat anchored ‘Son Et-Lumiere’ and dropped the tow, going to the assistance of the capsized boat.

When they arrived at the catamaran, assistance was given to the sailor to right the catamaran. When satisfied that the sailor and catamaran were ok, the Lifeboat returned to resume the tow of ‘Son Et-Lumiere’. ‘Son Et-Lumiere’ was taken back in tow at 4 pm and making way to Rye Harbour.

At 4.16 pm Dover Coastguard tasked Rye Harbour Lifeboat to give immediate assistance to five teenage swimmers at the entrance to Rye Harbour, three of whom were suffering from exhaustion. The five lads were recovered into the lifeboat and then landed safely ashore at Camber Sands at 4.25 pm.

‘Son Et-Lumiere’ was taken back in tow at 4.30 pm, and made way to Rye Harbour. At 5 pm ‘Son Et-Lumiere’ was placed on her moorings at Rye. Lifeboat B722 returned to station.

Tony Edwards, RNLI Deputy Launching Authority at Rye Harbour lifeboat station said: ‘Anyone going to sea should carry some means of calling for help. Mobile phones are not an effective means of calling for help for a number of reasons: they are not waterproof, poor signal coverage (black spots), only one person can hear your call for help (if you have a signal) to list but a few.

The RNLI – the charity that saves lives at sea, needs your support to train and equip our volunteer lifeboat crews and lifeguards.’

Lotty and Owner, David Gare returning to station.
Lotty and Owner, David Gare returning to station.
Son Et-Lumiere being towed back to her moorings at Rye
Son Et-Lumiere being towed back to her moorings at Rye


Rye Harbour RNLI relief Lifeboat B722 ‘Beatrice Dorothy’ launched at 6 pm on 28 July to an 8 ft inflatable, blowing to sea off the Beach Club at Pett Level. At 6.14 pm Lifeboat B722 arrived alongside the casualty, with four occupants (2 male adults, 1 male and 1 female child). The crew felt that the casualty should be escorted back to shore as the occupants had inadequate clothing, no lifejackets and had 500m to row back to shore against the off-shore breeze, but the occupants told the crew that assistance was not required.

The Lifeboat crew advised Dover Coastguard that assistance was not required and were released from the rescue. Rye Bay Auxiliary Coastguard Company were advised to observe the inflatable.

Tony Edwards, RNLI Deputy Launching Authority at Rye Harbour Lifeboat Station, said: ‘This is a classic instance of a person in distress, not knowing they were in distress.

The average cost of launching an inshore lifeboat is estimated at £2,200. The RNLI is funded by voluntary donations not HM Government.’

Fundraising Team

Things are looking up for the fundraising team at Rye Harbour. A further three people haveen volunteered. There is always a welcome for new members to the station, whether volunteering for the crew or as a fundraiser. If you have some spare time and would like to become a member of an enthusiastic and diverse volunteer team then please phone Steve on 01797 223631.

Souvenir Shop: Opening Times for September: Saturday 6th. : 11 am to 3 pm Sunday 7 th : 11 am to 3 pm Saturday 20 th : 11 am to 3 pm Sunday 21 st : 11 am to 3 pm

Future Events

September 27th. Late Summer Ball – Tickets £25 each. Telephone: Richard on 01797 223631 or Natalie 229117.

October 10th. RNLI Coffee Morning at the Butter Market, Rye Town Hall 10 am to 12 pm.

November 16th. Memorial Service: Mary Stanford Lifeboat Disaster,Rye Harbour Church.

Did you know? • Six out of ten lifeboat launches are thanks to legacies

Rye Lions President Reports

As Rye Lions President Bill Coleman starts his second term he reports the the proceeding year had been a great success for the Lions. During that time £9,000 was raised for charities.

Rye’s Own September 2008

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