On Tuesday 21 June 2022, Seahouses lifeboat crew took part in a multi-agency exercise, with colleagues from Craster RNLI, Howick, Seahouses, Howick and Amble Coastguard Rescue Teams.
Howick Coastguard commented: 'The evening saw weeks of planning come to fruition with a multi-casualty exercise at Dunstanburgh Castle, near Craster.
The scenario was that two pleasure craft had collided just off Castle Point with eight people having entered the water as both boats sank. These casualties had made it to shore with various injuries and conditions.'
Staff from English Heritage at Dunstanburgh Castle were first on scene and started initial first aid whilst other staff members awaited arrival of the emergency services.
Howick Coastguard Rescue Team arrived on scene and were then backed up by Amble Coastguards, Seahouses Coastguard Rescue Team, Newbiggin Coastguard Rescue Team, Craster RNLI lifeboat station inshore lifeboat and Seahouses RNLI lifeboat station all-weather Shannon Class lifeboat.
Teams were then deployed to assess and carry out treatment on the casualties and evacuate them from the rocky area beneath the castle. Casualties were placed into Craster inshore lifeboat and either transferred to Seahouses all- weather lifeboat or, depending on their condition, taken direct to Craster harbour where hypothetical ambulances were waiting.
Just when the teams thought they had finished, one of the castle staff had been briefed to start complaining of chest pains so the teams then had a 9th casualty to deal with.
This was a large scale exercise with multiple operational scenes that required extremely close joint working between English Heritage, HM Coastguard and the RNLI. The benefits of such exercises are huge and reinforce the link between all parties. Amazing amounts of effort were put in by all taking part using all the skills they regularly train in.
Remember, in an emergency at sea or on the coast, or if you think someone may be in difficulty, ALWAYS call the COASTGUARD by dialling 999.
Seahouses Lifeboat Coxswain Craig Pringle added: 'This was a very useful exercise, providing a valuable learning experience for all involved, and highlighted the close working relationship we enjoy with our Coastguard and Craster RNLI colleagues. We hope to arrange similar exercises in the future. A special thank you goes to all concerned, who helped make the event a success.'
RNLI Media contacts
For more information please contact Ian Clayton, RNLI Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer: [email protected]
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.
Learn more about the RNLI
For more information please visit the RNLI website or Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. News releases, videos and photos are available on the News Centre.
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.