Poole Lifeboats involved in multi agency training scenario
Poole lifeboats were launched today at 10am, on one of the coldest days of the year, the tasking from the UK Coastguard (Solent) was to a search for a missing boy and his carers.
The lifeboats were soon on scene and immediately conducted a shoreline search around the island some three cables off (there are 10 cables to a mile). Other agencies had been tasked and were on the island and in the vicinity. Conditions in the harbour were choppy, with a biting North Westerly wind force 5-6 and a flurry of snow, the lifeboats worked together and scoured the area, then news came through that the carers had been located and a casualty had been found on the shore some 100 yards south of Pottery Pier, the lifeboat crews were requested to administer casualty care and evacuate the casualty.
Arriving on scene the lifeboat crew met up with other agencies, the casualty was in fact a dummy as this was not a real rescue tasking but a major multi agency exercise scenario, centred on Brownsea island involving the Lifeboat volunteers working alongside National Maritime Operation Centre, local Coastguard units, harbour ferries shipping search teams, Police (shorebased / helicopter / marine), DORSAR (Dorset Search and Rescue) and others. On this occasion nobody was in danger, it was an important exercise where the other assets had the opportunity to share knowledge, gain experience and interact with other agencies.
Volunteer Helmsman Jonathan Clark said; ‘With the thousands of visitors that visit Brownsea Island todays exercise could easily be a for real, in the past the lifeboats crew have administered first aid have conducted medivacs from the Islands in the harbour, there are many scenarios from fires, explosions, missing people and so on, it’s good to have the opportunity to work alongside the other agencies as it is mutually beneficial’.
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.