RNLI lifeguards rescue fisherman who jumped from burning boat
RNLI lifeguards in Bude rescued a fisherman from the water today (Thursday 10 August) after his boat caught fire.
Lifeguards at Summerleaze beach heard a mayday call from a local fishing boat located approximately two miles off Compass Point which reported a fire on board at around 11.45am.
RNLI lifeguard Dan Gow immediately launched the rescue water craft (RWC) and headed for the boat’s location. By the time he saw the boat it was fully alight and the one person on board had jumped overboard to get away from the flames.
Dan managed to locate the fisherman in the water and picked him up on the RWC before quickly moving away from the vicinity of the burning boat.
Off-duty RNLI senior lifeguard Mini Fry was fishing on a boat nearby and came to help at the scene. The lifeguards transported the casualty to his boat and made checks on him but thankfully he had suffered no injuries.
Dan said: ‘When I got there the boat was fully alight and I had no idea where the casualty was. Initially I didn’t know if he might still be on the vessel, I was thinking the worst. Luckily I spotted him in the water quite quickly as he was wearing a lifejacket and was able to get him to safety. The man was cold and shocked, but was unharmed.’
The inshore rescue boat from Widemouth launched to provide support for the lifeguards and Bude inshore lifeboat was also tasked to the scene. Padstow RNLI volunteer lifeboat crew also attended to mark the area where the boat sank.
The casualty was taken back to the harbour, where he was met by a Coastguard team and paramedics.
Ross Hambley, RNLI lifeguard supervisor, said: ‘Dan did a fantastic job today, thanks to his quick-thinking actions the fisherman was brought back to the shore safely. Luckily the casualty was able to make a mayday call and was wearing a lifejacket when he entered the water. All the emergency services worked really well together.’
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Key facts about the RNLI
The RNLI charity saves lives at sea. Its volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service around the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland coasts. The RNLI operates over 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and more than 240 lifeguard units on beaches around the UK and Channel Islands. The RNLI is independent of Coastguard and government and depends on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824, its lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved over 142,700 lives.