Ilfracombe RNLI launch to assist injured child near Hele Bay

Lifeboats News Release

Both Ilfracombe lifeboats were launched on Sunday 15 August just after 2.10 p.m. to assist a 13 year old child who had suffered suspected spinal injuries after jumping into the sea near Hele Bay.

Ilfracombe lifeboat along side harbour pier with crew and emergency services in attendance

RNLI/Nikki Bradshaw

Ilfracombe RNLI lifeboat returns to harbour with casualty

The Ilfracombe RNLI lifeboats were launched following an emergency call to the Coastguard from the instructor who was leading a group of people coasteering at Blythe Cove. It was reported that the teenager had jumped into the sea and landed awkwardly and was suspected of having spinal injuries.

The relief D class inshore lifeboat was quickly launched with healthcare professional crew onboard to provide emergency casualty care if required, followed by the Shannon class all-weather lifeboat The Barry and Peggy High Foundation a few minutes later carrying a basket stretcher. The lifeboats made their best speed around the shoreline in calm conditions with a gentle wind and a large swell.

The inshore lifeboat (ILB) arrived on scene first just a few minutes later and two crew went ashore to assess the casualty. The two ILB crew requested additional crew from the all-weather lifeboat (ALB) to assist with the casualty. The ILB came alongside the all-weather lifeboat and took a crew member from the ALB and the basket stretcher to the shore. The four crew members together then carefully lifted the casualty onto the stretcher. The stretcher with the casualty, was then taken onboard the ALB along with the child’s father. The all-weather lifeboat then slowly and carefully made its way back to the harbour. On reaching Ilfracombe harbour the lifeboat was moored against the pier and the casualty was lifted off onto the pier where they were met by the ambulance service paramedics and the North Devon Air Ambulance helicopter. After further examination the casualty was taken by ambulance to North Devon District Hospital.

The lifeboat then returned to station to be made ready for the next service.

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 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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