On Tuesday 7 July, Fowey RNLI launched the all-weather lifeboat to assist a casualty with a serious head wound as a result of being hit by a boom while sailing.
The casualty was sailing with his son, who could not sail and assist his father at the same time. The casualties were both assessed and brought aboard the all-weather lifeboat for further assistance. Crew members Warren Saliss and Jimmy Hoddinott provided casualty care and monitoring while coxswain Jonathan Pritchard proceeded back to Fowey in order to pass the injured casualty into the care of paramedics who were waiting near the station.
As the injury was serious, it was determined to be necessary to bring the casualties on board the lifeboat, and all crew took reasonable precautions and wore PPE in case of exposure to COVID-19. The casualty checked in with Jimmy Hoddinott the next day to say he was doing well, despite the severity of his injury.
On Friday 10 July the pagers sounded just after 5pm. The all-weather lifeboat was again launched to assist a 16ft motor boat with five people aboard which had lost steering. The casualty vessel was reported by Charlestown NCI, and was found near Dodman Point. The casualty had no radio contact so communication was achieved through a Coastguard linked call. Nobody aboard the vessel was injured, so the boat was towed back to Fowey and assisted in the harbour by harbour patrol. This was the first shout for trainee Chloe Frampton, and also the first time all three of Fowey’s female crew members were selected together for a shout.
Saturday 11 July dawned hot and sunny, and by mid-morning, conditions were good for boating. The pagers sounded for the first time just after 4pm in response to a mayday call from a small fishing boat which had lost power and was aground on Gwineas Rock near Mevagissey. The all-weather lifeboat was quickly launched. The casualty vessel had been towed away from Gwineas Rock by a member of the public with their own boat while the lifeboat was making its way to the scene, and was assisted into Mevagissey Harbour while the lifeboat stood by.
The day was far from over, however, as the pagers sounded again on the 11th, only an hour after the all-weather lifeboat had returned from the mayday. The crew were rotated, and at 6:45pm the all-weather lifeboat was launched again to assist two boats with a total of five people aboard, one of which was towing the other. The towing vessel was in danger of overheating, so the lifeboat took over the tow, and the towing vessel stopped overheating when relieved.
Finally, on Sunday 12 July the all-weather lifeboat was launched for the final shout of the week. The pagers sounded and the lifeboat was afloat by 4:45pm, tasked to assist a 30ft yacht which had caught its propeller on a pot buoy near Polruan. The lifeboat arrived quickly on the scene, and two crew members were put aboard to assess the situation. The boat’s propeller was quickly freed and the yacht was able to return to Fowey without coming under tow.
Coxswain Jonathan Pritchard said: “We did our best to rotate the crew and to respond quickly to a range of incidents. This has been a busy week for us, and with the continued risk of exposure to COVID-19, we have utilised our PPE and have had to carefully consider our responses to each situation. The crew have shown great dedication this week and we have been able to launch quickly to every request.”
As always, the RNLI is committed to maintaining service during the pandemic, and we urge everyone going afloat to prepare as best as possible for potential problems. Always have a means of calling for help, and wear a flotation device. In any coastal emergency, dial 999 and ask for the Coastguard.
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.
Learn more about the RNLI
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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.