Swanage lifeboats assist at two incidents on Mothering Sunday.
At a time when social distancing is in place, the RNLI continues to provide a lifesaving service, whilst putting in place additional safety measures to operate during these unprecedented times.
With a strong north easterly breeze conditions were rough in places and the lifeboats travelled together along the coast to the more sheltered waters in Chapman's Pool.
Inshore lifeboat helmsman, Matt Steeden said 'the sea conditions were challenging with swell along the route and rougher seas around the headlands. As we reached Chapman's Pool we were sheltered from the wind making it easier for us to manoeuvre in the shallows'.
The Swanage lifeboats were working with our local HM Coastguards, paramedics and the HM Coastguard helicopter to recover a casualty at the west side of Chapman's Pool with a suspected broken arm.
Due to the shallow waters the inshore lifeboat, 'Phyl & Jack' dropped volunteer crew member, Darren Tomes ashore to assess access and to find out what assistance was required by the Coastguard and paramedics who were on scene.
It was decided that the HM Coastguard helicopter would extract the casualty and transfer them to the waiting ambulance. Darren ignited a smoke flare to direct the helicopter to the casualty and a winchman was lowered along with a stretcher.
With the casualty ready to be airlifted the inshore lifeboat collected their crew member from the shore, along with some of the winchman's equipment and vacated the area. The equipment was passed to the all-weather lifeboat to be transferred on passage to the helicopter after the casualty had been transported to the ambulance. However, the sea state was too rough to enable a safe transfer and the equipment was therefore kept aboard ready for transfer on land.
The two Swanage lifeboats were then stood down to return to station, before being tasked to a second incident in Swanage Bay. The lifeboats were on scene within 10 minutes, following a call for concern for a windsurfer who did not appear to be able to get up on their board. The shore crew at the Swanage Lifeboat Staiton directed the lifeboats to the stricken windsurfer and the inshore lifeboat went alongside and found out that the windsurfers fin had broken. The volunteer crew ensured the windsurfer made it safely ashore before returning to station.
After nearly three hours at sea the lifeboats returned to station.
Notes to Editors
Photograph of the HM Coastguard helicopter approaching Swanage lifeboat, second photo of Chapman's Pool. Credit Duncan Youngs. Third photograph of the incident at Chapman's Pool viewed from land.
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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 over 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.