A year on, casualty visits Calshot RNLI to thank the crew that saved her life

Lifeboats News Release

Over a year from an accident that caused her life-changing injuries, Tricia Harvey visited Calshot RNLI Lifeboat Station to meet and thank the volunteer crew that helped to save her life.


Casualty Tricia Harvey surrounded by some of the Calshot RNLI crew from her rescue. From left to right: Ben Courcha, Andy Bean, Sean Marsh, Graham Burgess, Mark 'Lofty' Laughlin

Both Calshot RNLI Lifeboats were launched to her aid and Tricia was rescued from the water and placed in the safe hands of the South Central Ambulance Service. You can read the original story here >https://rnli.org/news-and-media/2018/july/12/calshot-rnli-rescue-woman-after-fall-from-yacht.

As with most rescues, the volunteer lifeboat crew often don’t hear what has happened to the casualty after their job is done. Over a year later Tricia got in touch with the station and arranged to visit.

Welcomed by the crew, many of whom had been on the rescue, Tricia was able to explain exactly what she had been through. Her fall had caused a smashed elbow, broken the three bones in her arm, smashed her hip, and four fractures in her pelvis. She’d spent 11 weeks in hospital and had numerous operations including metal fixed all the way up her arm and a hip replacement. She has ongoing physio treatment even to this day.

These life-changing injuries have meant Tricia has had to leave her job to focus on her rehabilitation and make changes such as a new automatic car as she is unable to straighten her arm to change gears.

Despite what she has been through, Tricia was upbeat and positive during her visit to the station and so grateful to the crew that had helped to save her life that day.

She said; “It was overwhelming to meet some of the crew that plucked me from the water just over one year ago after a fall from a yacht. I had hit the pontoon on the way down, bounced off and landed in the water. There is not an awful lot I remember once I was brought ashore but I do remember the fall and being in the water in excess of 40 mins and in terrible pain.

Being held up by my fellow sailors, I do remember thinking 'how am I going to get out of the water' as I could hardly move. The RNLI arrived, there was not an awful lot of room for them to work as other boats were moored along the pontoon. They got me out with the minimum of fuss and with the minimum of pain to myself.

They are my hero's, and, what makes it even more remarkable is they are all volunteers. It doesn't bear thinking about what could have happened without them. My family and especially myself send them our love and heartfelt thanks. 'Thank you guys'.”

Tricia’s recovery story is a remarkable one, this year she completed a 5K dash in the dark as part of her road to recovery. It’s not only Tricia that is grateful for the work of our volunteers, her son David Harvey also took part in the North Downs 100 and raised a wonderful £509 for the RNLI.

Calshot RNLI crew were also invited to the Hamble River Sailing Club in November this year to receive a donation of £250 raised by the club as a thank-you for rescuing Tricia, who has been a member of the club for many years.

Tricia has been on an incredible journey of recovery since her accident that has changed her life, but she is starting to get back out on the water again and continues to be involved with the sailing club.

The volunteer crew at Calshot RNLI loved having her visit and are extremely grateful for her fundraising efforts since. They hope she continues to do well and hope to see her again, on an incident-free occasion of course!


Calshot RNLI crew receiving the donation from Hamble River Sailing Club. From Left to right: Dan Wells, Graham Burgess, Stephanie Merry (Commodore of Hamble River Sailing Club), Sean Marsh.

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 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.

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