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Haydn Miller launched after sailor injures head on tall ship

Lifeboats News Release

Tenby’s RNLI all-weather lifeboat Haydn launched at 4.50pm on Wednesday 16th August after a report from the tall ship Stavros S Niarchos that a person had fallen, injuring their head in rough seas nine miles south of Caldey Island.

RNLI/Ben James

Coastguard Rescue Helicopter 187 begins its approach

The volunteer crew made best speed to the casualty vessel in rough seas and 35 knots winds whilst Coastguard Rescue Helicopter 187 from St Athan was also tasked.

As the lifeboat reached the Stavros S Niarchos, the helicopter was also arriving overhead and began lowering the winchman to the deck to assess the casualty. The job was made harder by the ship’s masts pitching from side to side in the swell but the winchman made it safely to the deck.

Whilst the casualty was being checked out, the helicopter pilot and lifeboat coxswain made the decision that due to the 3 metre swell and high winds, the safest course of action was to transfer the casualty in the lee of Caldey Island where there was much more shelter from the elements.

Once in the shelter of Caldey, the lifeboat managed to get alongside the Stavros and take both the casualty and the helicopter winchman aboard. The winchman, also a paramedic, had decided that the injury to the sailor didn’t warrant an airlift to hospital and the casualty was fine to be taken the short distance back to Tenby by lifeboat.

The winchman was then lifted back off the deck of the lifeboat by the helicopter, which then made its way back to base and the Haydn Miller made its way back to Tenby where the casualty was checked over by the awaiting paramedics before being released.

RNLI/Ben James

The winchman is lowered to the deck

RNLI/Ben James

The helicopter prepares to lift winchman back off deck of lifeboat

RNLI/Ben James

The helicopter overhead

RNLI/Ben James

The lifeboat prepares to go alongside the Stavros once in the lee of Caldey Island

RNLI/Ben James

The lifeboat prepares to go alongside the Stavros once in the lee of Caldey Island

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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The RNLI is a charity registered in England and Wales (209603) and Scotland (SC037736). Charity number 20003326 in the Republic of Ireland