West Mersea RNLI involved in several multi-agency call outs
Tasked at 1.15pm to bring paramedics from Maldon to Northey Island at high tide, Just George and the volunteer crew launched immediately in what transpired to be an anything but a routine medivac.
The call out resulted in a multi-agency response to several incidents with Clacton-on Sea RNLI, South Woodham Coastguard Rescue Team, East of England Ambulance Service and Coastguard Helicopter
Rescue 163 involved.
Heading towards Maldon, the volunteer RNLI crew were tasked to pick up a specialist HART team (Hazardous Area Response Team) from East of England Ambulance Service, following reports of a casualty on Northey Island suffering from chest pains.
West Mersea Lifeboat then received a second Mayday call from a sailing yacht to the south of Osea Island reporting that they had a casualty that had been hit by a falling boom and had suffered major head and neck injuries. Passed to Dover Coastguard, they kept West Mersea Lifeboat Just George on their current tasking whilst requesting Clacton-on-Sea’s lifeboat to launch to the second casualty.
Arriving at Maldon’s South Quay, the HART team and members of South Woodham Coastguard Rescue Team quickly transferred to the lifeboat and made their way to the first casualty on Northey Island. Dropping off the teams there, the volunteer crew then made their way to the second casualty where two of the crew boarded the yacht and began casualty care with the help of an off duty member of the HART team and a passing doctor, before returning to Maldon to pick up a second HART team.
Clacton Lifeboat had arrived on scene and with West Mersea’s lifeboat devlivering the second HART team and taking over care of the casualty from the crew, Coastguard Helicopter Rescue 163 was scrambled to the scene. Due to the casualties stable condition and still being conscious, the decision was made to tow the vessel with the casualty on board to Marconi Sailing Club where they could be transferred by road ambulance to hospital, which Clacton’s lifeboat and volunteer crew did.
With the full crew back on board, West Mersea’s Lifeboat then returned to Northey Island to pick up the initial casualty, HART team and CRT. Upon arrival, the casualties condition had worsened and they were transferred to hospital by Air Ambulance. Picking up the HART team and the CRT, the lifeboat returned them to Maldon before returning to station.
West Mersea Lifeboat Press Officer, Chris Lewis-Garnham: ‘This was a fantastic effort from all the volunteer crews and emergency service teams today, showing how well all of our emergency services work together. When faced with life or death situations, our constant training, both as individual organisations and on joint training exercises, pays dividends when major incidents happen. We were very proud to have been able to provide assistance today and we wish both casualties a speedy recovery.’
Notes to editors
· West Mersea Lifeboat Station has been operating since 1963. To learn more about the lifeboat station go to: www.westmersealifeboat.org/history
· A photocall will not currently be able to be held due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic
· Volunteer crew member, Stephen Jay is available for interview, contact through Lifeboat Press Officer
· Photos: Landing the teams at Northey Island and both lifeboats attending to the vessel at Osea Island, Credit - Martin Wade. Coastguard Helicopter, Credit – Diane Cornes.
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.