Quick thinking off duty Rock RNLI volunteer calls the lifeboat
Ollie Hewitt, one of the youngest crew at Rock RNLI was last night (12 September) enjoying an evening off on the water in the Camel Estuary at Rock.
He noticed seven people on the water using a Zap Cat powerboat at high speed, and witnessed it suddenly flip-over, resulting in some of the passengers ending up in the water. Without hesitation, Ollie phoned the lifeboat station, where he knew the D class lifeboat Rusper II was out on exercise.
The volunteer lifeboat crew were diverted immediately from their exercise to the scene where they recovered two people who were suffering from cold water shock. The two casualties were taken back to the station and warmed up carefully with hot showers and hot drinks.
Ollie said 'Although I wasn't on exercise myself, I knew our lifeboat was out on a training exercise, and my younger sister Buffy was on the crew. I took quick action, and the crew, including my sister were able to attend immediately.'
Ollie added 'We remind people to behave responsibly and respect the water, and if anyone sees anyone in difficulty on the water, they should call 999 and ask for the Coastguard.'
The lifeboat crew towed the damaged boat back to Rock.
Key facts about the RNLI
The Royal National Lifeboat Institution is the charity that saves lives at sea. Our volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service in the United Kingdom and Ireland from 238 lifeboat stations, including four along the River Thames and inland lifeboat stations at Loch Ness, Lough Derg, Enniskillen and Lough Ree. Additionally the RNLI has more than 1,000 lifeguards on over 240 beaches around the UK and operates a specialist flood rescue team, which can respond anywhere across the UK and Ireland when inland flooding puts lives at risk.
The RNLI relies on public donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. As a charity it is separate from, but works alongside, government-controlled and funded coastguard services. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824 our lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved at least 140,000 lives. Volunteers make up 95% of the charity, including 4,600 volunteer lifeboat crew members and 3,000 volunteer shore crew. Additionally, tens of thousands of other dedicated volunteers raise funds and awareness, give safety advice, and help in our museums, shops and offices.
Learn more about the RNLI
Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries
Members of the public may contact the RNLI on 0300 300 9990 or by email.
The RNLI is a charity registered in England and Wales (209603) and Scotland (SC037736). Charity number 20003326 in the Republic of Ireland