Port St Mary RNLI routine exercise becomes lifesaving operation

Lifeboats News Release

Port St Mary RNLI volunteer crew launched the inshore lifeboat Spirit of Leicester on a routine training exercise on Tuesday August 17th in a West North Westerly force 3 wind with a moderate sea and partially cloudy conditions.

David Hill

Port St Mary RNLI inshore lifeboat Spirit of Leicester
The crew changed the exercise plan as they observed a group of four girls swimming between Kallow Point and Perwick Bay. The Helm thought that he would rather keep an eye on them in case they got into difficulty, as the area they were in is known for strong currents.

Mid exercise, the Helm observed a young girl frantically waving to attract attention. It became clear that one of the girls, aged 12, was in great difficulty. The crew responded accordingly.

Due to the proximity to the rocks off the Powder House adjoining Strathallan Castle a crew member volunteered to enter the water to support the casualty and guide her back to the safety of the shore. The girl was lucky to be spotted, as there were no other boats in the vicinity. Having ensured that the casualty was no worse for her ordeal the crewmember re-joined the inshore lifeboat, which returned then to station.

Lifeboat Operations Manager Sarah Keggen commented, 'The coast is a great place to enjoy the holidays but this rescue highlights the need to Respect the Water. Fortunately there was a very happy outcome to this incident but it could have been a totally different outcome if the inshore lifeboat crew hadn’t been out on exercise and been able to respond to the situation so close to the safety of the shore.'

Helmsman Morgan Guy went on to say, ‘The girls were very fortunate that the inshore lifeboat was in the vicinity and responded so quickly. It was a situation where time was of the essence. It is also a reminder how important it is for families to prepare before going to the coast on their holidays; to make sure they have appropriate knowledge of the sea and form of communication on shore in case of such an emergency’.

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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