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At their meeting on 20th March, Bexhill Rotarians were treated to a very entertaining selection of sea shanties from the Pett Slip Buoys, all volunteers with the Pett Level Independent Rescue Boat (www.plirb.com) .
The Buoys were formed last year when somebody suggested they get together a singing group, partly for fun and partly to raise essential funds for the rescue boat. At the Rotary meeting the Buoys certainly had a lot of fun with their lusty singing interspersed with amusing quips, with loud applause from the rapt audience at the end of each song.
The Pett Level Independent Rescue Boat (PLIRB) is an inshore rescue boat working in close cooperation with HM Coastguard and the RNLI. This rescue service, which started in 1971 with Charity status coming in the 1980s, receives no public funding and depends solely on private donations and sponsorship to continue its operations. The PLIRB is only one of 63 independents operating in the UK and covers rescues from Camber in the east to Bexhill in the west.
In the question and answer session that followed the singing, The Rotarians were told that the life of a rescue boat is around 10 years. The PLIRB are now looking to replace their current craft and the likely cost of a new one is £60,000-£70,000, and the Pett Level operation is also looking for a new boat house.
At the end of a rousing evening, Bexhill Rotary’s President James Slinn thanked the Buoys for a great session of sea shanties, and is pictured presenting them with a cheque for £100.
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