RNLI Medical Director Commendations are awarded to Appledore RNLI crew members

Lifeboats News Release

Congratulations to Appledore RNLI crew members Owen Atkinson, Natalie Simmons and Simon McCarthy: - ‘Your determination and commitment to delivering excellent casualty care and saving lives at sea is recognised and truly represents the values of the RNLI.’

RNLI/Niki Tait

Appeldore RNLI crew members Owen Atkinson, Natalie Simmons and Simon McCarthy are awarded RNLI Medical Director Commendations


Following Appledore RNLI’s regular Tuesday night training session on 14 June 2022, Phil Hill, their Area Lifesaving Manager, was delighted to award Owen Atkinson, Natalie Simmons and Simon McCarthy with personal RNLI Medical Director Commendations issued by the RNLI’s Medical Director which read:

‘On behalf of the RNLI, I would like to express my sincere thanks for your dedication and service to Appledore Lifeboat Station, l would specifically like to acknowledge your exceptional delivery of casualty care during a service on 10 February 2018, following a passage to Lundy Island in gale force winds, you went ashore and provided care to a casualty who had suffered a broken femur. You immobilised the injured leg and prepared the casualty for transfer to the ALB [all-weather lifeboat]. You then continued to care for the casualty until you arrived at Ilfracombe where they were handed into the care of paramedics.

‘Your determination and commitment to delivering excellent casualty care and saving lives at sea is recognised and truly represents the values of the RNLI.’

At 4.45 pm on 10 February 2018 the Coastguard requested Appledore RNLI to help with the evacuation of a 65 year old lady who had broken her femur after falling down stairs on Lundy. The Coastguard helicopter was tasked but take-off was delayed due to bad local weather conditions. The all-weather lifeboat, Molly Hunt, made its way to Lundy. The weather was squally with poor visibility, a F8 gale was blowing from the west, and sea conditions were very rough with 4-6 metre swells. The Helicopter finally arrived at Lundy but was unable to land on the island or carry out winching operations due to the high wind conditions, so it was stood down and returned to base. Owen, Natalie and Simon, the lifeboat’s casualty care crew members, were landed ashore to assist in the treatment of the casualty and prepare her for a rough journey by lifeboat to the mainland. Appledore lifeboat then took the casualty to Ilfracombe where they could land and transfer the casualty to an ambulance alongside the wall in the Harbour, rather than bring her to Appledore due to the low tide and rough sea conditions on the Bar at the expected arrival time. The lifeboat got to Ilfracombe at 10.25 in the evening and after transferring the casualty headed back to Appledore arriving on the mooring at 00:45 the following morning.

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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