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Commendations for Calshot RNLI crew after jetski rescue

Lifeboats News Release

Four volunteer crew members from Calshot RNLI have been awarded a commendation from the RNLI’s Medical Director.

Calshot RNLI Crew Members (l-r) Andy Headley, Damian Lester, Chris McDonald, Kelley Leonard standing in front of D Class Lifeboat 'Willett'

RNLI/Justyn Leonard

Calshot RNLI Crew Members (l-r) Andy Headley, Damian Lester, Chris McDonald, Kelley Leonard

Last June, crew were tasked to a jetskier. Working with crews from independent lifeboat Solent Rescue and the Police Marine Unit, the casualty was recovered from the water.

As the casualty was being transferred to shore, they suffered a cardiac arrest and the Calshot crew members immediately began to administer CPR, being able to stabilise the casualty until arrival of South Central Ambulance Service crews, as well as the Air Ambulance.

The commendation, issued by RNLI Medical Director, Aroop Mozumder cites: ‘Your determination and commitment to delivering excellent casualty care is recognised and truly represents the values of the RNLI.’

The crew members honoured with this commendation are:

Andy Headley who has been a member of the crew since 2011, helm since 2016 and a Lifeboat Training Assessor since 2017. Andy works for South Central Ambulance Service and earlier this year successfully completed his paramedic training.

Chris McDonald who rejoined the crew in 2021 after returning to the area and is now a trainee helm. Chris is a former commercial skipper and works at the nearby refinery as a process leader.

Damian Lester who joined the crew in 2008 and qualified as helm in 2021 and Lifeboat Training Assessor in 2022. Damian works in the building maintenance sector.

Kelley Leonard who joined the crew in 2019 and works as an emergency care assistant for South Central Ambulance Service.

Andy Headley, who was helm for the shout said: ‘This was a real team effort, we brought the casualty to shore close to the station and all of the crew contributed to a positive outcome.’

Calshot RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager, Jane Banting added: ‘It’s a testament to the commitment of our volunteer crew that when we need to apply the training in a critical situation, we can do so. I am incredibly proud of Andy, Chris, Damian and Kelley, the recognition for their efforts on this shout are richly deserved.’

RNLI media contacts

For more information please contact:

Justyn Leonard, Lifeboat Press Officer on 07540 920678 or email [email protected]

Paul Dunt, RNLI Regional Media Officer on 07785 296252 or email [email protected]

RNLI Press Office on 01202 336789

Notes to editors

Calshot Lifeboat Station was established in 1970 and is situated on Calshot Spit at the seaward end of Southampton Water. It operates an Atlantic 85 B Class Lifeboat, Max Walls and a D Class Lifeboat, Willett.

Calshot RNLI Crew Member Andy Headley with his medical director commendation

RNLI/Justyn Leonard

Calshot RNLI Crew Member Andy Headley with his medical directorcommendation
Calshot RNLI Crew Member Chris McDonald with his medical director commendation

RNLI/Justyn Leonard

Calshot RNLI Crew Member Chris McDonald with his medical director commendation
Calshot RNLI Crew Member Damian Lester with his medical director commendation

RNLI/Justyn Leonard

Calshot RNLI Crew Member Damian Lester with his medical director commendation
Calshot RNLI Crew Member Kelley Leonard with her medical director commendation

RNLI/Justyn Leonard

Calshot RNLI Crew Member Kelley Leonard with her medical director commendation

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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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.

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