View as PDF

The life-saving power of defibrillators taken to heart at Bembridge RNLI

Lifeboats News Release

The importance of defibrillators in saving lives was brought home to the coxswain of the Bembridge lifeboat recently when he became involved in helping assist a man who had fallen in the street on the Isle of Wight.

Guy Willing, coxswain of the Bembridge lifeboat.

RNLI/Mike Samuelson

Guy Willing, coxswain of the Bembridge lifeboat.

The incident came at the same time as the crew at Bembridge are raising funds to get a defibrillator fitted to the outside of the lifeboat station.

Guy Willing, who only became coxswain at Bembridge two months ago, was about to enjoy a rare afternoon off when he became stuck in traffic on Foreland Road, Bembridge.

On realising the hold-up was because someone had collapsed on the pavement, he left his vehicle and found a group of people carrying out CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) and using a defibrillator to try and get the man’s heart started.

‘You can’t walk away from that,’ explained Guy, ‘I said would you like me to have a go and I carried on with the compressions while another person at the scene did the air. I just did what I was trained to do.’

Guy and the other members of the public at the scene used the defibrillator to shock the man four times before the paramedics arrived on the scene and he was taken to hospital.

‘I wasn’t saving lives at sea, but was an extremely small cog in a group of about four or five people, I gave a bit of assistance in a small way’, said Guy who moved to the island in 1974 when his father, who was in the Navy, was posted to Portsmouth.

The demonstration of the effectiveness of defibrillators in saving lives came at a pertinent time for Bembridge Lifeboat Station. The crew are currently raising funds to buy a defibrillator machine which will be placed on the outside of the lifeboat station and available for use to the general public.

‘It just goes to show how important defibrillators are – and shows why the crew are carrying out their own fund-raising to get a machine on the outside of the station,’ said John Keyworth, Lifeboat Operations Manager at Bembridge.

‘We need to raise £1750 and we are nearly there. Using defibrillators, which give a high energy electric shock to the heart, have been shown to be very effective when treating people who have gone into cardiac arrest,’ he added.

Ends

RNLI Media contacts

  • Paul Dunt, Regional Media Officer (South East), 0207 6207426, 07785 296252 paul_dunt@rnli.org.uk

  • Mike Samuelson, volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer, Bembridge Lifeboat Station 07785 593254 mikesam06@gmail.com

  • For enquiries outside normal business hours, contact the RNLI duty press officer on 01202 336789

RNLI online: For more information on the RNLI please visit http://www.rnli.org/. News releases and other media resources, including RSS feeds, downloadable photos and video, are available at the RNLI News Centre.

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 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.

Learn more about the RNLI

For more information please visit the RNLI website or Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. News releases, videos and photos are available on the News Centre.

Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries

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

Categories