Teddington RNLI help to evacuate a woman taken ill on a houseboat on the Thames
Teddington RNLI were tasked at 13:48 on New Year’s Day with the request to assist London Ambulance Service (LAS) and Hazardous Area Response Team (HART) on scene with a medical evacuation from a houseboat at Isleworth Ait on the River Thames.
The woman was suffering from abdominal pains aboard a houseboat/barge opposite Lion Wharf Road. The sleeves were up at Richmond Lock and following a quick launch Teddington RNLI crew of helm Angus Prentice and crew Toby Banks and Pete Doyle on D class D-785 Peter Saw made it down to Richmond Lock in five mins, helped by a fluvial flow overpowering the flood tide.
LAS and HART team were on the Middlesex bank when Teddington RNLI arrived at Isleworth Ait. After a quick liaison, Teddington RNLI established that LAS/HART had got two of their team across to the riverboat/barge moored alongside Isleworth Ait. Teddington RNLI Crew Toby Banks and Pete Doyle went on board to assist.
Chiswick RNLI arrived to support in the rescue of the casualty having completed a ‘shout’ nearby.
After deciding that the safest least slippery evacuation point was a little further down river at the slipway outside the London Apprentice pub, Teddington RNLI decided that the optimal method of casualty transfer was from the barge to the D class using the basket stretcher borrowed from the Chiswick RNLI E class lifeboat.
Teddington RNLI and Chiswick RNLI agreed a plan to ferry one of the LAS/HART attending medics with Teddington RNLI crew Toby Banks and all the required equipment. As part of the plan, Teddington RNLI crew Pete Doyle and Teddington RNLI helm Angus Prentice took the casualty in the basket stretcher position across the boat on the side sponsons and the other LAS/HART medic to the evac point. By this time, the LAS/HART team who had been on the Middlesex bank had re-located to the slipway outside the London Apprentice and could take over the casualty from there.
Pete Doyle said: “Toby and I boarded the casualty vessel where Hazardous Area Response Team and London Ambulance Service were already on scene dealing with the casualty. We liaised with them and I got a situation report from the head clinician. The medical teams wanted us to extract the casualty back to shore. After a couple of minutes Chiswick RNLI arrived to support us and Toby and Angus liaised with them. Toby and I agreed the safest way to bring the casualty off the boat would be on Chiswick RNLI’s basket stretcher. As I helped to prepare the casualty, Toby and Angus worked out the landing site which was to be at the London Apprentice slip. We then lifted the casualty onto the D class D-785 Peter Saw across the sponsons. I travelled with the casualty with Angus at the helm to shore where we all assisted the casualty safely into the awaiting ambulance. It was great teamwork between Teddington RNLI, Chiswick RNLI and Hazardous Area Response Team and London Ambulance Service.”
Teddington RNLI Launch and Recovery was by Jon Chapman, James Kavanagh, Sam Armatage and Gianna Saccomani. Paul Roach was the Teddington RNLI Deputy Launching Authority (DLA).
Written by Paul Stallard, Lifeboat Press Officer and Crew
Notes to editors
· Crew interviews available on request
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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 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.