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St Helier Inshore Lifeboat launched to yachtsman with head injury

Lifeboats News Release

The St Helier Inshore Lifeboat was tasked with rescuing an injured yachtsman on Monday afternoon.

The St Helier Inshore Lifeboat was paged shortly after 1pm, initially to respond to a distress message sent by VHF radio using the DSC (digital selective calling) system by a vessel near Corbiere. However, the vessel realised that it had sent the message in error and used its VHF radio to inform the Coastguard that it was a false alarm.

Whilst this exchange was taking place, St Helier Vessel Traffic Service (VTS) took a call from a fisherman that he was alongside a yacht just northwest of the Demie de Pas lighthouse with a sole crew member who required medical attention for a head injury. It appeared that the sole yachtsman had been struck by the boom of his yacht and knocked unconscious. The yacht had then drifted into the rocky area north of the Demie de Pas lighthouse where it had been seen by the fishing boat which had decided to investigate.

As the St Helier inshore lifeboat crew were ready to launch they were tasked with attending the yacht. In view of the potential severity of the injury, the lifeboat was authorised to leave St Helier harbour at high speed. The lifeboat was on scene within several minutes where the crew assessed the casualty who was semi-conscious and barely coherent.

The yacht had already been rigged for a tow by the fishing boat and, in view of the casualty's reluctance to be moved and the risks involved in moving him, the decision was taken to leave him on the yacht, administer casualty care and monitor his condition, and proceed into St Helier harbour.

The three boats proceeded to the visitor moorings in St Helier harbour where they were met by awaiting ambulance crew.

The St Helier inshore lifeboat returned to station where it was refuelled and prepared for its next service.

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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 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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