Falmouth RNLI volunteers respond to two incidents during annual fundraiser

Lifeboats News Release

On Sunday (12 September) Falmouth RNLI’s volunteer lifeboat crew responded to two people needing medical assistance. Both shouts happened during the annual Castle to Castle Swim – an RNLI fundraising event which was taking place that day in the Carrick Roads.

Library shot of Falmouth RNLI’s Severn class lifeboat Richard Cox Scott and Atlantic 85 inshore lifeboat Robina Nixon Chard on exercise in Falmouth Bay

RNLI/Simon Culliford

Library shot of Falmouth RNLI’s Severn class lifeboat Richard Cox Scott and Atlantic 85 inshore lifeboat Robina Nixon Chard on exercise in Falmouth Bay

A trawler in Falmouth Bay, with three people on board, sent out a Mayday call for a member of its crew who required urgent medical assistance. On receiving the distress call, the UK Coastguard requested the launch and tasked Falmouth’s Severn class all-weather lifeboat, Richard Cox Scott, to assist them with a medical evacuation.

One member of the lifeboat crew, and Falmouth station’s lifeboat medical advisor, attended to the trawlerman while awaiting the coastguard helicopter. On the helicopter’s arrival, a paramedic was winched onto the lifeboat to assess the casualty who was then airlifted to hospital for further treatment.

Falmouth’s inshore lifeboat (ILB) had also been launched that morning, to watch over the 160 open water swimmers taking part in the Castle to Castle event. The ILB was contacted to assist one swimmer who was suffering from the effects of cold water, having been in the sea for a long period of time. Already in the care of RNLI lifeguards on St Mawes beach, the swimmer was picked up by the lifeboat and returned to Falmouth station, where the crew kept him warm until an ambulance arrived.

A spokesperson for Falmouth Lifeboat Station said: ‘The Castle to Castle swim is always a very busy morning for our volunteer crew, but they demonstrated great teamwork and drew on all their training during both incidents.’

‘Our Castle to Castle event is always a safe environment – with lifeboats and lifeguards on the scene – but it’s important to remember that cold water and currents can tire you quickly when swimming in open water and make it harder to return to shore.’

‘If you’re a keen sea swimmer, it’s really important that you take steps to keep yourself safe. Always try to choose a lifeguarded beach where possible, check the weather forecast and tide times, and acclimatise to cold water slowly. You should always tell somebody where you’re going, and what time you’ll be back, so that they can call 999 and raise the alarm if they need to.’

RNLI media contacts

For more information, please telephone Meg Hocking, RNLI volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer on 07816 278 958 or Meg_Hocking@rnli.org.uk, Emma Haines, Regional Media Officer on 07786 668 847, or contact the RNLI Press Office on 01202 336 789.

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

Members of the public may contact the RNLI on 0300 300 9990 (UK) or 1800 991802 (Ireland) or by email.

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