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Holyhead RNLI lifeboat crew and helicopter in evacuation of ill sailor

Lifeboats News Release

Holyhead RNLI lifeboat was launched last evening (Monday 22 May) after a man fell ill on board his sailing boat.

Holyhead RNLI's all-weather lifeboat Christopher Pearce

Ian Thomas

Holyhead RNLI's all-weather lifeboat Christopher Pearce

The station’s Severn class all-weather lifeboat Christopher Pearce launched at 6.25pm after the man, who was sailing for the port of Holyhead, had become ill and made the correct decision to call for help.

Due to the vessel’s location a large tanker diverted from its course to shelter the stricken craft and once the lifeboat arrived minutes later one volunteer crew member was transferred onto the boat with the lone sailor.

The sailor was able to rest while the lifeboat crew took the 27ft vessel in tow, but about 20 minutes into the tow the crew member aboard reported the sailor’s condition was worsening and he was developing chest pains and breathing issues, so the tow was released and the lifeboat went back alongside to transfer another crew member aboard with more medical equipment.

The casualty’s condition continued to worsen and the need for an immediate evacuation of was needed, so another transfer was made of the lone sailor to the lifeboat and the Coastguard Search and Rescue helicopter was called in to airlift the him direct to hospital.

Once the man had been flown off to hospital, two lifeboat crew members brought the boat into Holyhead, escorted by Holyhead lifeboat.

Tony Price, Holyhead RNLI Coxswain, said: ‘All at Holyhead RNLI are hoping the man made a swift recovery.’

Notes to editors:

The attached picture is a stock shot of Holyhead RNLI's all-weather lifeboat Christopher Pearce. Credit Ian Thomas

RNLI media contacts

  • Vicki Owens, Holyhead Lifeboat Press Officer, 07531 681409

  • Eleri Roberts, RNLI Public Relations Manager (Wales and West.) 01745 585162/07771 941390

  • Chris Cousens RNLI Press Officer (Wales and West) 01745 585162/07748 265496

  • For enquiries outside normal business hours, contact the RNLI duty press officer on 01202 336789

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