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St Davids RNLI perform medical evacuation from trawler in seven meter waves

Lifeboats News Release

St Davids volunteer crew called out to assist in a medical evacuation in force 8-9 conditions and 7 meter waves.

RNLI/Ellen Evans

St Davids RNLI crew were paged at 11:08am on Monday, May 3 2021, to a fisherman on board 275 ton Belgian trawler Raquell who had suffered burns and scalding from a boiler on board. The Tamar class lifeboat Norah Wortley launched at 11:21am and made way to the vessel about six miles NW of St Davids Head. They were unable to transfer between the boats or from the Coastguard Rescue Helicopter 187 to the casualty because of 60mph wind and very rough seas.

It was decided to escort the vessel towards St Davids Head before receiving the winchman from the helicopter in the shelter of Ramsey Island. The winchman was then transferred to the casualty vessel, and returned back to the lifeboat with the injured person.

Attempts were then made to rehouse, to transfer to helicopter on land, at 12:30pm but conditions were so severe they were unable to; instead the casualty and winchman were lifted from the all-weather lifeboat Norah Wortley and flown to Morriston Hospital. The volunteer crew remained in Ramsey Sound for 3.5 hours before attempting another rehouse at 4pm but again could not be recovered due to conditions. In the end, the decision was made to go to Milford Haven Marina for a safe mooring over night before returning by road, arriving back to St Davids Lifeboat Station at 7:30pm.

A crew returned to Milford Haven to return the boat to station on Tuesday morning (4 May, with the intended arrival of 11:30am.

St Davids Press Officer, Ellen Evans says: ‘Rescues in these conditions show the importance of the fundraising that is undertaken to provide equipment and kit that keeps the volunteer crew and vessel safe while at sea. St Davids RNLI volunteers are currently running the Mayday Mile fundraising campaign, to raise vital funds for the RNLI after a very difficult year and ahead of what is going to be a very busy summer. As a crew we are aiming to cover 840 miles, the number of our D-Class, raising £840.’

RNLI/Ellen Evans

RNLI/Ellen Evans

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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Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries

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