Berwick-upon-Tweed RNLI's new recruit to the rescue
Berwick’s RNLI new recruit crew member 18- year- old Christi Avril answered her pager to go on her first real rescue after completing her training on Berwick’s inshore lifeboat.
HM Coastguard paged Berwick RNLI to launch both boats on Sunday 12 February at 11:18am to go to Holy Island after receiving a call that a 60- year- old male casualty had collapsed in the sand dunes and was unconscious.
Both lifeboats sailed into Holy Island harbour, with two Northumbria Ambulance Service Paramedics on board the all-weather lifeboat and on the inshore lifeboat two casualty care trained Helmsmen.
Both crews awaited further instructions, while the casualty was being assessed. It was then decided that the man would have to be airlifted by the Great Northumberland Air Ambulance to hospital and the lifeboats were stood down.
Christi completed her training one month ago for the inshore lifeboat; this was her first shout in which she could go out to sea as part of the inshore lifeboat volunteer rescue team.
Christi said: ‘I wish to thank all of the Helmsmen who have put me through my paces, it was exhilarating to know that this is what I had been trained to do. It’s an amazing feeling knowing I can now answer my pager day or night to be part of a team that saves lives at sea. It was great seeing how all emergency services can work together.’
Waiting at Berwick lifeboat station for the safe return of both lifeboats was Christi’s father Michael Avril who has served 29 years as ILB Helmsman, ALB Navigator and is a Community Safety Partner for the RNLI.
Michael said: ‘I am so proud that my daughter has followed in my footsteps to become a crew member. Christi is no stranger to the lifeboat station, as part of the lifeboat family she has helped since she was little and raised money for the RNLI to keep our lifeboats afloat and provide training and equipment for our crews to go safely out to sea. It was a heartfelt moment watching her sail back in with the crew to the lifeboat station.’
RNLI Media contacts
For more information please telephone Hazel Bettison, Berwick RNLI Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer on 07944757578 or Brian Cowan, Berwick RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager, on 07962003238.
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.