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Man in the water in the River Dart rescued by Dart RNLI

Lifeboats News Release

A 57 year old from Dartmouth had been in the water for 15 minutes before he was pulled out. Fortunately he was wearing his lifejacket.

Chris Rampling, Lifeboat crew and Lifeguard Supervisor, assessed and treated the casualty.

RNLI/Dart Lifeboat

RNLI Dart lifeboat crew provided First Aid

At 7.22pm, Solent Coastguard requested an immediate launch to a man who had fallen between his RIB and the slip at Blackness Marine, Dittisham. When the inshore lifeboat crew arrived 18 minutes later he had been pulled from the water and was being led to a car close by.

Dart RNLI lifeboat crewman Chris Rampling, who is also an RNLI Lifeguard Supervisor, assessed him as being 'Big Sick'. He required oxygen and was also placed in a survival bag and given a neoprene balaclava hood to prevent heat loss from his head. He then remained in the car with the heater running.

The Dartmouth Coastguard SAR team remained on the scene to provide radio contact with Solent Coastguard, as radio communications are difficult in that particular area of the Dart Valley. The crew continued to monitor the casualty and his condition had improved greatly when the ambulance arrived 40 minutes later. The RNLI crew left him in the care of the ambulance team and were back on service at 9.10pm.

RNLI safety advice

In this incident the casualty was wearing a lifejacket, which helped to save his life. To enjoy boating safely, you should always wear an appropriate lifejacket or buoyancy aid, unless it is safe not to do so. Make sure you have a means of calling and signalling for help within reach. For more information on what to do if you get into difficulties in the water, visit

RNLI notes to editors

The enclosed image shows the Dart RNLI volunteer crew providing first aid treatment to the casualty.

RNLI media contacts

For more information please contact Dr John Fenton, Dart Lifeboat Press Officer, on 07970921504.

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