The volunteer crew of Teddington Lifeboat Station launched at the request of London Coastguard to a female with suspected cardiac issues on board a nearby passenger boat.
At 2:52pm on Wednesday 13th July, the crew of Teddington Lifeboat launched their D-Class to a passenger boat, who had reported that a female passenger had fallen ill with cardiac pain. The crew arrived on scene at 2:57pm, to the passenger vessel just downstream of Teddington lock.
Upon arrival, helmsman Matt Allchurch and crewmember Matt Ellins boarded the vessel to assess the casualty’s condition and plan her evacuation. Matt Allchurch, who took the first aid lead, said: ‘The casualty was in pain and we felt it would be difficult to move her into the lifeboat, which was a metre or so lower than the passenger boat.’
Matt added: ‘We decided to take the passenger vessel and lifeboat through Teddington Lock and meet the London Ambulance Service (LAS) at Ham riverside for a safer evacuation.’
Helmsman, Andy Butterfield, who remained on the lifeboat to command the boat and to monitor communications, directed the LAS to the correct location. Meanwhile, Matt Ellins monitored the casualty closely and provided all available first aid.
Andy said: ‘The LAS arrived around 30 minutes later. The transfer from the passenger vessel to the LAS stretcher was easy and almost level at Ham riverside. Matt Ellins gave a full and thorough handover to the paramedics, including initial assessment, treatment given and subsequent monitoring.’
Once the handover had been completed and the paramedics and passenger vessel crew were happy, the Teddington crew stood down and returned to station around 3:45pm.
Recalling the service call, Matt said: ‘The first aid, communication and handover all went really well, which is a credit to all of the training we do.’
The RNLI, the charity that saves lives at sea, also operates three other lifeboat stations on the River Thames, two in London at Chiswick, Tower and one further down the river in Kent, at Gravesend.
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Key facts about the RNLI
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, Carrybridge 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.
The RNLI relies on public donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. As a charity it is separate from, but works alongside, government-controlled and funded coastguard services. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824 our lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved at least 140,000 lives. Volunteers make up 95% of the charity, including 4,600 volunteer lifeboat crew members and 3,000 volunteer shore crew. Additionally, tens of thousands of other dedicated volunteers raise funds and awareness, give safety advice, and help in our museums, shops and offices.
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