Busy Sunday for Whitby RNLI's inshore lifeboat

Lifeboats News Release

Whitby's inshore lifeboat was launched twice on Sunday 14th August after a diver suffered from decompression sickness and a fishing vessel took on water in the harbour.

The inshore lifeboat was launched by three volunteer crew at 1.20pm after a diver was brought to harbour in his boat after he began suffering the effects of decompression sickness.

Decompression sickness, also know as The Bends, occurs when a diver resurfaces too quickly. 

The RNLI crew provided medical assistance and oxygen until an ambulance arrived to take the casualty to hospital in Hull, which has the nearest decompression chamber.

Station mechanic Richard Dowson said: 'Ideally we would have known about the casualty as soon as he resurfaced so we could offer immediate medical assistance. If you are out at sea and believe you are suffering from decompression sickness you should call the coastguard who will request the assistance of the RNLI who can make a quick medical assessment.'

He added: 'We would rather people err on the side of caution than risk their health and safety.'

Not long after the inshore boat had been returned to the station, the crew were paged a second time to assist with a boat that was taking on water.

The inshore lifeboat was launched at 1pm to help pump out water from the fishing vessel Copious, The local fire crew were also in attendance.

The boat was successfully pumped out and remained afloat.

RNLI media contact
For more information contact Whitby Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer Ceri Oakes on 07813359428 or at ceri_oakes@hotmail.com

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, in a normal year, 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.

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