Teddington RNLI and Turks Launches in Dramatic Thames Scenario Training
Teddington RNLI Lifeboat Station’s two D-Class Inshore Lifeboats (ILB’s) have successfully completed another River Thames exercise involving Turks Launches.
The exercise took place on Tuesday 12 June 2018, creating a little bit of drama in the evening just by Kingston Bridge on the Thames. All public were notified by social media and on scene that it was a training exercise.
Matt Allchurch, Helm at Teddington RNLI Lifeboat Station, organised the exercise with Nick Tudor, General Manager of Turks Launches and designed it to be a realistic simulation of a possible emergency on the river.
Both Teddington RNLI D-Class Inshore Lifeboats (ILBs) were deployed: D-743 Olwen and Tom and D-785 Peter Saw. Teddington RNLI Crew and Shore Crew managed the shout as if it was real from the minute their pagers went off. Crew at Teddington RNLI Lifeboat Station ‘acted’ as HM Coastguard.
Matt Allchurch said on behalf of the Teddington RNLI helms and crew involved:
‘Here at Teddington RNLI we run lots of internal scenarios to keep the crew skills at a high level. These are great but working with Turks on larger exercises are the ones that really test crew knowledge and are the closest we get to a real shout. This particular scenario involved a Turks vessel (Richmond Royale) breaking down mid channel and an elderly lady simultaneously taking a fall and breaking her hip. None of the crew knew what to expect on arrival but dealt with the situation as they saw it. The casualty was quickly assessed, stabilised and evacuated by Boat 1 (D-785 Peter Saw). Boat 1 then joined boat 2 (D-743 Olwen and Tom) to safely bring the much larger Turks vessel alongside their pontoon. A hot debrief, as we call it, was carried out on board by both Turks Launches and Teddington RNL with more detailed feedback to follow. Overall it was a very successful exercise for both parties.’
Nick Tudor was delighted with the outcome: ‘I would just like to say thanks to everyone involved. It was very enjoyable, and I think it all went quite smoothly from an operational side of things too. Training with the RNLI is always a fantastic experience for our skippers and crew. We love any opportunity to refine our skills and learn from the wealth of experience the RNLI crews have to offer. Post exercise socialising is always a bonus too! We’re already looking forward to the next one”
Matt added: 'Big thanks to all marshals and monitors who helped to facilitate the exercise and ensure all went safely and to our ‘casualty’, one of our crew, Jules Kendal!'
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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 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.