Hartlepool lifeboat capsize 30th anniversary
The 28 February 2023 marks the 30th anniversary of the Hartlepool RNLI lifeboat The Scout capsizing twice whilst on service to the 97,000 ton tanker Freja Svea which was dragging its anchor and eventually run aground in severe gale force winds off Redcar.
'What I didn't realise at the time the lifeboat had suffered a second capsize. The first time we capsized we pitch poled which is when the bow goes over the stern the second time when the engines stopped which is what they are designed to do the next wave hit the lifeboat beam on and rolled it over a second time so the lifeboat crew had to sort themselves out again and this is when they realised I was missing.
'As the lifeboat's radio and aerials were damaged they used a hand held vhf radio to put a mayday call out and began searching for me. Luckily for me an RAF Sea King search and rescue helicopter from RAF Leconfield had earlier landed on the beach at Redcar as part of the operation to remove crew from the stranded tanker. So within 10-15 minutes the helicopter was scrambled to search for me. They actually spotted the life raft from the lifeboat first and then found me nearby.
'The winch man was lowered down and swam across to me, put a strop over me and we were winched up into the helicopter. It was at this point I blacked out due to the effect of hydrostatic squeeze and the next thing I remember was waking up in the ambulance on the way to Middlesbrough hospital.
'The RNLI provides its volunteers with the best kit available and its just the same now. It all still seems like yesterday. It seems strange, like a blink of an eye that thirty years has gone past but proudly here we are today as RNLI volunteers on call 24/7 playing our part in saving lives at sea.'
RNLI Media contacts
For more information please contact Tom Collins, RNLI volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer on: 07896793557 or email: [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.