Multi-agency training exercise off of The Lizard
The volunteer crew from The Lizard RNLI lifeboat and RNLI lifeguards joined forces with the Coastguard helicopter from Newquay to complete a multi-agency training exercise off Kennack Sands on Tuesday 12 June.
The charity’s lifeguards and lifeboat crew carried out a joint training session together with the Coastguard helicopter. They worked through a number of possible scenarios to prepare for any emergency around the coast.
In the exercise, the lifeguards were initially tasked to three casualties on the rocks at Kennack Sands. Having assessed the casualties using their casualty care training, it was decided that further assistance was required from The Lizard lifeboat and Coastguard helicopter.
There were three casualties who each simulated different injuries – one had a fracture, one was suffering a heart attack and another had swallowed a lot of water and was panicking over the state of his friends.
Various evacuations of the casualties were practiced .One casualty was evacuated via transfer to land by The Lizard lifeboat’s Y boat. This allowed the lifeguards to practice assessing the best location to treat a casualty and to experience working together with the smaller Y boat, situated aboard the Tamar class lifeboat.
Another was transferred onto the all-weather lifeboat and then evacuated by helicopter. This allowed the lifeguards and lifeboat crew to practice casualty transfer and winching techniques. Although the helicopter was redirected to an incident on the Isles of Scilly before the exercise began, they returned in time to practice winching to and from the lifeboat with a stretcher.
Andrew Putt, RNLI Coxswain at The Lizard, said:
‘This is an incredibly worthwhile exercise to carry out as it is always an extremely valuable experience for the volunteer crew and lifeguards to work together as a team alongside the Coastguard helicopter.
This training allows both the crew and the lifeguards to gain an understanding of the different situations and casualty care scenarios they may encounter together, preparing them for the upcoming busy summer season.’
Adam Harris, RNLI lifeguard supervisor, said:
‘This was a really beneficial opportunity to work together with lifeboat to gain experience demonstrating and sharing lifesaving skills and techniques.
Each scenario was targeted to train the specific requirements each agency may face during the busy summer season. Communication is a key part of any multi-agency rescue and exercises like this focus on improving communication between the teams.
Overall, the exercise was a massive success and we plan to continue this valuable training throughout the summer.’
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.