Runswick Bay Rescue Boat Newsletter – February 2020

A round up of the end of 2019 and the start of an exciting year for the Runswick Bay Rescue Boat

In August 2019, RBRB supported and attended the Staithes & Runswick RNLI display which raised an amazing £14,000 for their charity. We would like to congratulate everyone involved for their hard work over the weekend. The display took on a slightly different theme this year with a robber falling into the harbour with his swag bag having been chased by the Police, only to be recovered by RBRB who then returned him back to the Officer. Both the Committee and Crew of RBRB would like to thank Staithes & Runswick RNLI for their hospitality and friendship shown over this weekend.

On 30th August 2019, we were tasked by Humber Coastguard to reports of a kayaker in difficulty on the north rocks at Runswick Bay. Assistance given – RBRB attended scene and recovered the kayaker and his kayak safely back to shore with no reported injuries.

RBRB crew were joined on training by Ally (who brought biscuits!) from Southport Offshore Lifeboat, an independent search and rescue service on the West Coast. It was a great opportunity to meet up with a fellow independent volunteer.

The infamous Andrew Spark “Sparky” completed the crew training modules and having been assessed throughout was awarded crew status. A big well done from all the crew and committee of the Association and thanks to his wife, Annie for her support.

Training concentrated on moving a casualties onto stretchers ready for evacuation, the use of fracture splints to fully immobilise and protect the casualties’ injuries, and configuring the stretchers to take any pressure off the injured area. This type of extraction is not unusual and something we practise on a regular basis.

With a good following on Facebook, the RBRB has been using the channel to spread the word of warning. In Autumn visitors were urged to be especially careful of the mud in the channel at low tide. One of our crew helped rescue two people stuck in the mud.

As part of expanding our offering to the Coastguard and other search and rescue services we have started training the crew to operate the boat at night. We have fitted our 360” light and as weather conditions permit will slowly introduce this training to crew. It is hoped that by the start of the 2021 season we will have capability to provide a 24-hour service. This demands a new set of skills including communications, navigation and boat handling and introduces a new dynamic to the team.

Our first night time training exercise was to find a casualty lost somewhere along the beach at Runswick. This allowed the team the opportunity to programme and install co-ordinates into the Garmin and watches worn by the Crew. This type of training allows us to practise the basics on land before we go on the water at night.

Faced with a 4-5 foot wall of weed at the bottom of the slipway, the treads we purchased in 2018 allowed us to roll over the top of the weed and launch successfully without too much difficulty. At sea we plotted a number of co-ordinates which will allow us to safely navigate our way home in the dark.

Members of the crew travelled to Yeovil in November to look at the new Ribcraft boat currently being built for us to replace our current boat, Freebird Fojt. The aim of the visit was to discuss the design of the bow pod along with other design features specified by RBRB before production. The boat funded by a grant from the Department for Transport is expected to be delivered early 2020. The next time we see the boat will be when we commence sea trials in February. We would like to thank Dorian at Ribcraft for making the visit so enjoyable and for his hospitality.

Following a vote including input from all the crew and committee, it has been decided that the new rescue boat will be named “Spirit of Nagar”. The official Christening has been planned for 11th April 2020. More details will follow closer to the time.

We are delighted to announce that Andrew Kelly (AK) has been promoted from Trainee to Crew following completion of our training modules. AK has shown a lot of commitment to RBRB in completing the training and becomes another valuable member of the crew.

Just before Christmas we were informed we had been successful in obtaining a grant for £2,400 from CAF (Charitable Aid Foundation) towards training costs. The money has been used to secure a two-day course on pre-hospital care for 12 of the Crew with Saviour Medical who link the training to our bespoke casualty care cards. RBRB would like to express its gratitude to CAF for this grant.

Thank you to everyone who attended the Runswick Bay Rescue Boat Ball on 28th December 2019! What a fabulous evening. A huge thanks to Grinkle Park for the excellent food and service and also ‘Back in the Habit’ for their fantastic music set – the dance floor was never empty! We raised £1700 for RBRB – thank you to everyone for your generosity. We need your ongoing support to ensure we keep right up to date with equipment and training.

Whilst on routine training exercise in early January 2020, the Crew became aware of three members of the public trying to descend the cliffs at Kettleness which placed them in danger of injury due to the large drop around the waterfall area. RBRB went to shore and offered some safety advice to the individuals who made their way back up the cliffs. Since this event Steve Hart from the Coastguard has independently issued a warning of the dangers of climbing up and down the cliffs on the east coast due to the instability of the ground underfoot.

Thanks to all the Crew and Committee, their patient families, and the village for their support of the Runswick Bay Rescue Boat. We are fortunate to have your continued support and funding, and look forward to a safe and happy 2020 in the Bay.