Sunderland RNLI volunteers part of a multi-agency rescue of female
Volunteers from Sunderland RNLI were this afternoon part of a major multi-agency rescue operation which took place to rescue a female suffering from Hypothermia from the banks of River Wear at North Hylton, Sunderland shortly after 3:30pm (Sunday, 11 December).
Shortly after 3pm this afternoon Officers based at Humber Coastguard received a ‘999’ emergency call from a female reporting that she had woken up on the river bank and was feeling extremely cold and unable to get herself to safety.
Coastguards initially dispatched Officers from Sunderland Coastguard Rescue team along with Paramedics from Northeast Ambulance Service.
After locating the female (in her 40’s) Coastguards decided that the safest method of evacuation for the patient was to use the River Wear and an inshore lifeboat.
Shortly after 3:35pm Sunderland RNLI volunteer’s pagers were activated and the launch of the inshore lifeboat was approved by the Lifeboat Operations Manager.
Luke McGill, Helmsman at Sunderland RNLI said: ‘Due to the difficult terrain and the distance to the nearest road; it was decided that our lifeboat would be the easiest and safest means of evacuating the patient to safety.’
The female, who had already been placed in a stretcher by Paramedics and Coastguards, was then transferred onto the lifeboat along with a Paramedic from the NE Ambulance HART (Hazardous Area Response Team) for the passage back to Sunderland Marina.
Once at Sunderland Marina the patient was then transferred into a St Johns Ambulance before being transported to Sunderland Royal Hospital suffering from Hypothermia.
Luke added: ‘It is unclear exactly how long this lady had been lying on the riverbank, but we do understand that she had been there most of the day from the previous evening. Thankfully she had the presence of mind to dial 999 this afternoon and ask for help as her location would have made it very unlikely that she would have been seen by another passing individual.’
Shortly before 5pm the lifeboat crew were cleared to the return to their station where the boat and equipment was washed off and cleaned ready for the next emergency call.
(1) Image of patient about to be transferred to the shore from Sunderland RNLI inshore lifeboat. (copyright – RNLI)
(2) Video – footage taken during the actual rescue from one of the RNLI volunteers safety helmets. (copyright – RNLI)
Notes to editors
• Sunderland RNLI Lifeboat Station is the oldest continually operation lifeboat in the United Kingdom. It was originally opened in 1800 before being adopted by the RNLI in 1865.
• Sunderland RNLI Lifeboat Station operates its own website
www.rnlisunderland.org where supporters can keep up to date with station specific activities.
• Sunderland RNLI Lifeboat Station has a profile on Twitter (SunderlandRNLI) and Facebook (RNLI Sunderland) where supporters can keep up to date with station specific activities and news.
• Sunderland RNLI Lifeboat Station operates two inshore type lifeboats: An Atlantic 85 8.3m inflatable capable of 35 knots and a D Class (IB-1) 4.5m inflatable capable of 25 knots.
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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 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.
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