Clacton RNLI volunteer crew rescue person after fall from pier

Lifeboats News Release

The volunteer crew were paged just after 4pm on Friday 18 May by UK Coastguard, and requested to launch Clacton RNLI’s D class lifeboat Damarkand IV, to reports of someone having fallen from the town’s iconic pier

Volunteer crew help transfer casualty to helicopter

Amanda Bassett

Volunteer crew help transfer casualty to helicopter

Once launched, the volunteer crew quickly located the casualty, who was holding onto a life ring which was hanging from the pier. They were pulled aboard the lifeboat, where an assessment was made of their condition while on route back to the boathouse. The casualty reported they were okay, but very cold.

On reaching the beach at the lifeboat station, the crew were met by further volunteer crew members, who would help with the care of the casualty while awaiting the arrival of the ambulance and recover the lifeboat.

During this period the casualty’s condition started to deteriorate quickly, with no ambulance available immediately, UK Coastguard requested rescue helicopter 163 be tasked to respond and take the person to hospital. Rescue 163 was quickly on scene, landing on the beach in front of the boathouse.

Due to the casualty’s condition, volunteer crew member Hazel Johns was requested to accompany them in the helicopter as she was one of the crew members administering care, and an A&E nurse (sister). Hazel is a newer member of the team, and only completed the RNLI Casualty Care course earlier this month.

Even though Hazel is a fully trained nurse, the course allows her to understand the limitations of caring for a casualty at sea with limited resources to hand, and some of the various techniques used to mitigate them.

Rescue 163 then took off from the beach and headed for Colchester Hospital where further treatment and observations could be carried out. A coastguard mobile unit had gone ahead to prepare the landing site in Colchester while the casualty was being made ready for transfer.

After arriving back to Clacton with the coastguard mobile unit, Hazel said; ‘It was an amazing experience to fly in the helicopter. Having undergone the Casualty Care course, I had confidence in my fellow volunteers’ training and abilities, even though most are not from a medical background.’ Hazel then made a quick exit in order to get ready for her night shift back in the A&E department at Colchester Hospital.

Volunteer Helm Adrian Rose, who earlier this year received a 20 years’ service award from the RNLI said; ‘Whoever threw the life ring down to the casualty has most likely saved their life.'

Mr Rose later went onto say: ‘This year Clacton RNLI are celebrating 140 years of continuous service, and though the nature of our calls has changed dramatically, the charity's core goal of saving lives at sea hasn’t changed.’

RNLI media contacts

  • Richard Wigley, Lifeboat Press Officer, Clacton RNLI: 07903 424698
  • Clare Hopps, RNLI Regional Media Officer, North East and East: 07824 518641
  • For enquiries outside normal business hours, contact the RNLI duty press officer on 01202 336789
Volunteer crew help transfer casualty to helicopter

Amanda Bassett

Volunteer crew help transfer casualty to helicopter
Volunteer crew help transfer casualty to helicopter

Amanda Bassett

Volunteer crew help transfer casualty to helicopter

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.

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Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries

Members of the public may contact the RNLI on 0300 300 9990 (UK) or 1800 991802 (Ireland) or by email.