View as PDF

Rye Harbour RNLI lifeboat tasked to search and rescue operation at Camber Sands

Lifeboats News Release

Rye Harbour lifeboat launched at 5.33pm on Saturday 1 April 2017, at the request of the UK Coastguard in order to assist in the search and rescue of a female who was reported to have entered the water at Camber Sands.

Rye Harbour lifeboat passes Harbour Master's office shortly after launch on 1.4.2017

RNLI/Stephen Griffin

Rye Harbour Lifeboat shortly after launch

The RNLI volunteer crew were quickly at the scene and in conjunction with a UK Coastguard helicopter they started a thorough search of the area where the woman was reported to have been, whilst shore-based services arrived at the beach.

After 15 minutes the lifeboat was asked to stand down after the woman had been found safe and well in an amusement arcade on the beach.

This was the first time this year that Rye Harbour lifeboat had been called out to a reported emergency at Camber Sands. The sunshine and temperatures of over 20 degrees brought many people to the beach to enjoy some of the best weather so far in 2017. Last year was a particularly busy year for the RNLI in the south east with volunteer lifeboat crews from 39 stations rescuing 2013 people who were in distress.

Whilst the RNLI is primarily a frontline rescue service, the charity isn’t just about rescuing people when they find themselves in danger. It aims to equip people with the knowledge and skills to avoid trouble in the first place and know what to do should they find themselves or others in danger in the water.

Glen Mallen, RNLI Lifesaving Manager, said: ‘Once again we are extremely grateful for the dedication shown by our lifesavers. Our volunteer lifeboat crews collectively spent in excess of 42,800 hours at sea, but we really do see our rescue service as a last resort.

‘We’d really like to see people paying more attention to safety messages and giving the water the healthy respect it deserves. While we will always answer the call for help, I and everyone within the RNLI would like to see people staying safer at the coast.’

It’s not just those who use water frequently who find themselves needing help. Last year proved that a trip to the coast can prove fatal if people do not take care or ask for help. One major tragedy saw five young men drown after getting into difficulty in the sea off Camber Sands, East Sussex. This summer the RNLI will provide a lifeguard service at those beaches at the request of the local authority.

RNLI media contacts

  • Steve Griffin, RNLI Rye Harbour Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer
    07710 297606/

  • Tim Ash, RNLI Public Relations Manager (London/South East/East)
    0207 6207426 / 07785 296252 /

  • For enquiries outside normal business hours, contact the RNLI duty press officer on 01202 336789

Key facts about the RNLI

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution is the charity that saves lives at sea. Our volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service in the United Kingdom and Ireland from 238 lifeboat stations, including four along the River Thames and inland lifeboat stations at Loch Ness, Lough Derg, Enniskillen, Carrybridge and Lough Ree. Additionally the RNLI has more than 1,000 lifeguards on over 240 beaches around the UK and operates a specialist flood rescue team, which can respond anywhere across the UK and Ireland when inland flooding puts lives at risk.

The RNLI relies on public donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. As a charity it is separate from, but works alongside, government-controlled and funded coastguard services. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824 our lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved at least 140,000 lives. Volunteers make up 95% of the charity, including 4,600 volunteer lifeboat crew members and 3,000 volunteer shore crew. Additionally, tens of thousands of other dedicated volunteers raise funds and awareness, give safety advice, and help in our museums, shops and offices.

Learn more about the RNLI

For more information please visit the RNLI website or Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. News releases, videos and photos are available on the News Centre.

Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries

Members of the public may contact the RNLI on 0300 300 9990 or by email.


The RNLI is a charity registered in England and Wales (209603) and Scotland (SC037736). Charity number 20003326 in the Republic of Ireland