RNLI Torbay lifeboat crews called to ‘emergency rescue’ at Churston Cove …

Lifeboats News Release

Both of Torbay’s lifeboats were out on exercise on Sunday 29 April, with experienced and trainee lifeboat crew members aboard taking part in a simulated medical emergency combined with rough weather handling.

RNLI/Nigel Millard

Both RNLI Torbay lifeboats working together during Sunday's exercise at Churston Cove

Overseen by Torbay’s Second Coxswain Richard Fowler, the exercise began with boat handling skills for crew aboard inshore lifeboat Leslie and Mary Daws. Richard (who’s more usually found at the helm of the ‘big boat’ when Coxswain Mark Criddle is off duty) was on board the inshore lifeboat alongside trainee crew members Andrew Medley and Luke Soul.

Trainee Coxswain Adam Fowler was on board the all-weather lifeboat Alec & Christina Dykes, so assumed overall charge of decision-making for the exercise when the simulated call came in reporting a medical incident at Churston Cove …

The scenario was that a couple had been walking on the rocks when the lady had slipped and fallen, sustaining possible leg and chest injuries; her husband (in a state of panic) had gone for help but then experienced chest pains (raising concerns of a possible heart attack). Adam (as ‘coxswain’ on the all-weather boat) needed to decide how to deploy boats and equipment, lead the evacuation and determine where ‘casualties’ needed to go for treatment.

Two teams were put ashore (one for each casualty) to assess and treat immediate injuries on scene. The casualties were then evacuated from Churston Cove on board the inshore lifeboat, the female to be taken to the boathouse, and the male to a (simulated) waiting land ambulance at Brixham Laboratories.

RNLI Torbay Second Coxswain Richard Fowler said ‘With a north easterly wind blowing at force 5-6, conditions aboard the smaller lifeboat were ‘interesting’ and perfect for practising poor weather boat handling skills’.

Once the ‘casualties’ were safely ashore, there was more work for the trio aboard the inshore lifeboat as they continued rough weather training in the Bay.

The RNLI Torbay volunteer crew give up their free time all year round and in all weathers to practise these scenarios and be prepared to spring into action when the ‘real thing’ happens … helping to save lives at sea and around our coastline.

Notes to editors

Photograph of RNLI Torbay lifeboats on exercise supplied by Nigel Millard

Torbay Lifeboat Station Key Facts:

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Victoria Bowen, RNLI Torbay Lifeboat Press Officer

07794 043 428 or vicki_bowen@rnli.org.uk

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Carrie Garrad, RNLI Regional Media Officer

07786 668 847 or carrie_garrad@rnli.org.uk

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