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Multi-agency rescue of woman with back injury

Lifeboats News Release

St Agnes RNLI lifeguards, St Agnes RNLI lifeboat and HM Coastguard cliff rescue team worked together yesterday afternoon (Wednesday 11 July) to assist a woman suffering with a back injury.

At around 12:15pm, RNLI lifeguards on Trevaunance Cove, St Agnes were alerted by the leader of a coasteering team to a woman suffering a back injury at Trevellas Porth, around 200m east of Trevaunance. It was reported that she had sustained the injury after jumping around two metres from rocks into the sea.

RNLI lifeguard Curtis Johnston immediately paddled round on a rescue board. The woman had been recovered safely onto the beach by the coasteering team but was clearly in a lot of pain. Curtis administered casualty care and, due to the inaccessibility of her location, radioed to senior RNLI lifeguard Phil Smith for assistance.

Phil then contacted Falmouth Coastguard who requested the launch of the St Agnes RNLI inshore lifeboat Xkalibur and tasked the St Agnes HM Coastguard Cliff Rescue team. The volunteer lifeboat crew launched at 12:35pm and was on scene at 12:37pm with the crew of Helm Tom Kaye, Paul Kimberley, Dr Ed Schwarz and Paul Fisher.

Curtis remained on the beach monitoring the casualty until the lifeboat crew arrived. The teams then worked together to administer pain relief, before transferring her onto a long board stretcher and into the lifeboat.

The lifeboat crew then transported the casualty back to the lifeboat station and was assisted by members of the St Agnes HM Coastguard cliff rescue team in monitoring her until the ambulance arrived.

The lifeboat was then rehoused and made ready for service at 13:25pm.

Drustan Ward, RNLI lifeguard supervisor for the area, said:

‘The RNLI lifeguards here at St Agnes work frequently with the volunteer lifeboat crew during incidents such as these and it’s great to work as a team together to ensure the best possible outcome for the casualty.

The lady was with a fully qualified instructor but this was an unfortunate accident. The instructor did the right thing in contacting lifeguards as soon as the incident occurred and we wish her a speedy recovery.’

Whilst the ambulance was dealing with the first casualty, RNLI lifeguards on the beach were alerted to 10 year old boy with long-standing health conditions needing medical assistance.

Due to the presence of the ambulance on the beach already, one paramedic and RNLI crew member Paul Kimberley, also a paramedic, assisted the lifeguards in administering casualty care.

The team administered casualty care to the child. Having been assessed by the paramedic, it was decided the child needed no further treatment.

RNLI

St Agnes RNLI lifeguards and lifeboat

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 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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