Burnham-on-Sea RNLI training exercise with local gig club

Lifeboats News Release

Burnham-on-Sea sailing club is home to an enthusiastic rowing gig club.

Shows the Burnham-on-Sea lifeboats ramped either side of the gig

Mark Rennie Gig Club Coxswain

Shows the Burnham-on-Sea lifeboats ramped either side of the gig

Since gig rowing has been defined as the fastest growing water-based sport in the South-West of England, Burnham RNLI and the club’s organisers, after some discussion, decided to hold a joint casualty extraction exercise.

Hence, this Wednesday training evening (13 June), both RNLI lifeboats were launched at the usual launch time to seek out the Burnham-on –Sea club gig Jane Campbell with the intent of extracting two exercise casualties. One gig crew member was deemed to have fallen overboard, but after recovery become very cold, verging on hypothermia, and the other had apparently fallen in the boat, suffering from a suspected broken leg.

Once the gig was located, lifeboats Burnham Reach and Staines Whitfield rafted alongside and prepared to deal with the casualties. This was good practice for the lifeboat volunteers, and equally useful for the gig crew who had not yet had to deal with an emergency.

The hypothermic gig member was brought in to the sailing club pontoons by the crew of D class lifeboat Burnham Reach, whilst the crew of Staines Whitfield dealt with the broken leg problem.

The second casualty was now collected by the D class lifeboat crew, whilst Staines Whitfield crew shepherded the now short-handed gig back to the Sailing club pontoons.

RNLI Launch Authority Phil Counsell says; ‘With the increasing local popularity of gig racing, this was an ideal opportunity for our volunteers to become familiar with the craft and it’s characteristics.

Gig Coxswain Mark Rennie adds; ‘Equally, our rowers received useful experience, and are more aware of lifeboat requirements if we ever require assistance.’


Notes to editors

Images with this release

  • File name: dual support (Credit Gig Coxswain Mark Rennie) Shows the Burnham-on-Sea lifeboats ramped either side of the gig
  • File name: at_sailing_club (RNLI/Mike Lang) After the gig has returned to the sailing club pontoons

Lifeboats in service at Burnham-on-Sea:

A 7.5m Atlantic 75 named Staines Whitfield and a smaller 4.95m D class IB1 inflatable named Burnham Reach The station was opened officially on 15th May 2004, but has been operational since December 2003.

RNLI media contacts

For more information about this release please telephone Mike Lang, RNLI Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer on 07889 815860 or email mike.lang@btinternet.com,

In the absence of the above, contact RNLI Public Relations on 01202 336789

Alternatively, telephone Amy Caldwell RNLI Public Relations Manager (South)

Tel 07920 818 807, Amy_Caldwell@rnli.org.uk , or Emma Haines Press Officer; 07786 668847 emma_haines@rnli.org.uk

The gig has returned to the sailing club pontoons, with lifeboat in attendance

RNLI/Mike Lang

The gig has returned to the sailing club pontoons, with lifeboat in attendance

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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.

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