RNLI Crew Rush To Save Swimmer

Lifeboats News Release

The volunteers were paged at 8.19am on 7th May as numerous reports had come in from members of the public saying there was a swimmer in trouble.

It was believed that the swimmer who was exercising in Clevedon’s Marine Lake, was lifted by a surge of water at high tide, over the pool wall and taken in to the deep Channel.

After all efforts by the swimming community to try and help the swimmer get back to the Lake the pull on the now outgoing tide was too much for him and the 999 call was made.

The crew launched and with best speed were on scene and searching along side the Coastguard Helicopter 187 and Coastguard land teams from Clevedon and Portishead. RNLI crew were also launched from Weston Super Mare as back up. They were all searching for the person who was known to be wearing a white swimming cap.

After a short time the Portishead crew found the casualty clinging to rocks which he had managed to scramble out on to. With the tide racing out and the swimmer getting colder the risk of the person falling back in the sea was increasing with every second, with skill and precision the Lifeboat was taken by Helm Ian, right up to the rock where they were able to very quickly recover the man in to the safety of lifeboat. The crew assessed the casualty by using their casualty care training whilst starting to try and warm him up. It was clear he was very cold and potentially showing signs of suffering with hypothermia.

To the crew’s astonishment a member of the public had climbed down the rocks from Poet’s Walk, the footpath that takes you around to Clevedon Pill. The man had managed to get to the casualty and was holding on to him whilst help was on the way. This undoubtedly ensured he didn’t fall back into the sea, a very brave act.

The decision was quickly made to recover the man to the safety of the waiting Coastguard teams and Ambulance Service who were all waiting on the shore at Clevedon Pill. It was then the Coastguard Helicopter who was on standby ready to winch the casualty if needed and Weston RNLI crews, were stood down allowing them to return to their Stations.

The Portishead crew were able to quickly navigate their way into Clevedon Pill thanks to the actions of a local fisherman Roger in his fishing vessel Endeavour. He guided the RNLI into the tricky coastline saving valuable time in helping them to pass the casualty to the waiting teams. After the man was handed over by the RNLI, they once again followed Roger in his fishing vessel back out of the weaving channel and thanked him for his help.

Helm Ian Lazenby said ‘This multi agency rescue went very smoothly in near perfect conditions at a particularly high tide. What never ceases to amaze me is how members of the public will help someone in distress. Without the chap helping hold on to the casualty on the rocks, or with Roger in his boat Endeavour setting off without being asked to help us, he navigated us into the tricky Clevedon Pill channel right up to the slip way, and then guiding us out again, this recovery would not have happened as speedily as it did. Whilst we would not want anyone to put themselves in danger, the help from the casualty’s swimming community at the Marine Lake, to the two men who selflessly aided the swimmer, the Coastguards and Ambulance Service and the lifeboat crew, it contributed to a great outcome. Thank you to everyone and our best wishes go to the casualty.’

Once the lifeboat crew were able to returned to the lifeboat station, due to the current threat with COVID-19, the volunteers carried out safe decontamination of all their PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) and My Lady Anne, the Atlantic 85 class lifeboat based at Portishead. She was refuelled and made ready for service once again with the support of the shorecrew who were as always patiently waiting for them to return.

This rescue was a huge team effort our thanks go to all of them. Although this seems to have been a very unusual set of circumstances with nobody at fault, we urge you to check the tides before swimming in the Marine Lake and at high tide it is best to avoid swimming close to the sea wall of the pool until the tide has dropped sufficiently.

#SavingLivesAtSea #FloatToLive #RNLIVolunteers

Notes to editors all images @RNLIPortishead

· Casualty handed over to Clevedon and Portishead Coastguard teams at Clevedon Pill (Image taken from Helmet Cam apologies for the angle.

· RNLI Portishead Crew thank Roger on his fishing vessel Endeavour

· Crew heading home to Portishead

RNLI media contacts

For more information please telephone Helen Lazenby, RNLI volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer on 07800 595 995 or contact the RNLI Press Office on 01202 336789.

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For more information on the RNLI please visit rnli.org. News releases and other media resources, including RSS feeds, downloadable photos and video, are available at the RNLI News Centre rnli.org/news-and-media.

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 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 142,200 lives.

Casualty safely handed over to HM Coastguard Teams & Ambulance Service

RNLI/Helen Lazenby

Casualty safely handed over to HM Coastguard Teams & Ambulance Service
Big thanks to Roger, Skipper of Endeavour

RNLI/Helen Lazenby

Big thanks to Roger, Skipper of Endeavour
Volunteer crew heading back home to Portishead

RNLI/Helen Lazenby

Volunteer crew heading back home to Portishead

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

For more information please visit the RNLI website or Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. News releases, videos and photos are available on the News Centre.

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.