A busy start to the summer for RNLI lifesavers
The summer season is when the busy period starts for most of the RNLI lifeboat stations. Add to that the thousands of people flocking to beaches across the UK and Ireland (this year spurred on by the months of lockdown) and the number of people getting into trouble in the water increases dramatically. That's where you come in. Your support means our lifeboat crews and lifeguards have the training, equipment and support they need to save lives at sea.
The lockdown has hit RNLI fundraising hard. Volunteers will give up their time for free. But the training, the gear and the fuel for their lifeboats and rescue watercraft all cost money. Will you help us ensure we can be there for all those who get in trouble in the water? Not just for this summer, but for the months and years ahead?
Recent rescue roundup
Last weekend was another busy one with lots of shouts around our shores and inland as lockdown restrictions begin to ease across the UK and Ireland. Take a few minutes to catch-up on just some of the shouts that RNLI lifesavers have been called to over the past week.
The crew from Moelfre RNLI were called to assist the crew of a 9.5m yacht, that was pinned to the seabed by a rope stuck around its propeller at Porth Wen, on the north coast of Anglesey. The crew of the yacht were considering putting someone into the water to attempt to cut the obstruction. However, with the risk of injury that was posed, the RNLI crew connected a tow and took the vessel to a safe location instead.
Coxswain, Alan Owen, says: ‘On this occasion, the owner did the right thing and called for help. Now local restrictions have eased and people can once again come and enjoy our beautiful coastline and waters, please stay safe and if you get into difficulties please stay with your vessel, call your local coastguard for assistance at the earliest opportunity.’
Ilfracombe RNLI rescued a casualty and his dog from the bottom of a cliff at Bull Point. The German Shepherd, named Marley, was walking by the cliff edge when he dropped his stick, which then tumbled over the edge. Marley went over the cliff edge to try and retrieve his stick but ended up falling into the water and could not get out. His owner found a different route safely down, but they could not get back up the cliff again. Ilfracombe’s all-weather lifeboat (ALB) crew were first to arrive on the scene.
Coxswain, Carl Perrin, instructed for the inflatable X-class boat to be put in the water, with a line keeping it secured to the ALB, so the crew could reach the shore and bring the casualty and his dog back to the ALB. Carl says: ‘We would like to remind everyone to please keep their dogs on leads if they’re walking close to cliff edges and remember the best thing to do if your pet gets into trouble at the coast is don't enter the water yourself, instead call 999 and ask for the Coastguard. We’re all very glad that there was a positive outcome in this case.’
Kessock RNLI were tasked by HM Coastguard to a medevac (medical evacuation) of a child with a head injury on the remote location of Eathie Beach, approximately 4 miles north of Fortrose on the Black Isle. The crew quickly made their way to the scene, and Invergordon RNLI also launched to assist if required.
Doug Grant, Helm at Kessock and RNLI crew member since 1985, says: ‘On arrival at the scene, it was relayed that the young casualty’s father had managed to cover some considerable distance from the beach to meet the waiting ambulance crew on the road. We manoeuvred the lifeboat to allow a crew member to check the beach was clear and confirm that the casualty was in the care of the Scottish Ambulance Service. We were relieved to hear that the youngster was assessed, and no further treatment was required.’
RNLI lifeguards at Porthtowan beach in Cornwall were alerted to an incident involving a sudden ‘flash’ rip current. Bathers were swept off their feet and carried out of their depth into rough seas with large plunging waves. Lifeguards Ben Norton and Emily Trestrail immediately responded on their rescue boards while their colleague, Matthews Read, swam out to the bathers with a rescue tube. But more lifeguards were needed due to the size of the rescue. Lifeguard, Paddy Higgins, ran down to the water’s edge from the beach lifeguard unit and dropped the flags while attempting to get the other bathers out of the water.
Meanwhile, RNLI Lifeguard, Taylor Prisk, remained at the lifeguard unit keeping his eyes on the incident and managing radio communications with the team. All 12 bathers were successfully returned to shore and assessed by the lifeguards. RNLI Lifeguard Supervisor, Ben Gardiner says: ‘This was a mass rescue which involved half of the Porthtowan Team and they all worked so well together. We have to keep an eye on the wider picture, even during a mass rescue. With an erratic sea state and 6 foot surf, rip currents are not the only challenge. A flash rip can occur suddenly without warning and wield vast amounts of water.’
Chiswick RNLI volunteers helped a London ambulance crew with a speedy medevac on Friday 10 July. London Ambulance Service paramedics were treating a woman who was suffering from an allergic reaction, but their ambulance was parked a 15-minute stretcher hike away and the casualty’s condition had the potential to worsen on the journey. They had seen the lifeboat crew on the river and asked for their assistance through the Coastguard.
The casualty was moved into the lifeboat’s stretcher and taken on board, along with the two paramedics. The paramedic monitored the casualty’s vital signs aboard the lifeboat, while the crew transported them to Putney Pier so they could be brought ashore for treatment.
RNLI Crew Member, Mark Pusey, says: ‘It’s a great example of something we are called to do on a very regular basis, working alongside other agencies to make sure the casualty’s needs are best met. Communication is key. It’s easy when the agency is as great as the London Ambulance Service.’
A 6m sailing yacht with two people on board was brought to safety by Wicklow RNLI on Sunday afternoon. The inshore lifeboat launched with Helm, Graham Fitzgerald, and Crew Members, Alan Goucher and John Stapleton, to reports of a small yacht in difficulty. The yacht was located one mile east of Wicklow harbour, with weather conditions at the time described as sea state slight with force three southerly wind.
Alan was transferred onto the yacht to assist the two sailors after they experienced problems with the mast and their outboard engine failed. A towline was established and the two sailors, along with their yacht, were brought safely alongside the East Pier at Wicklow Harbour.
Your support powered each one of these rescues. Donate today and make sure we can launch to the rescue today, tomorrow and for years to come.