Wells RNLI assist Coastguard in airlift of collapsed athlete
The Wells RNLI inshore lifeboat was paged at 3.50pm on Saturday 10 June 2023.
At 3.58pm the lifeboat launched and proceeded to Gun Hill/Burnham Overy Staithe. A woman taking part in a sporting event had collapsed and needed medical assistance.
The local coastguard teams and coastguard rescue helicopter were also tasked for assistance. The weather was good with a light easterly wind.
The inshore lifeboat arrived on scene at 4.22 pm, but the tide was ebbing in the Burnham Overy harbour. A crew member with emergency medical supplies was landed on Gun Hill and made haste to the casualty at 4.30pm. The coastguard team and the station's softrack launch and recovery vehicle had also arrived on scene by then.
The coastguard helicopter was able to land close to the casualty, who was then airlifted to Boston hospital at 5.06pm.
The Wells inshore lifeboat left the scene at 5.15pm and returned to the lifeboat station at 6.15pm, with the aid of the waiting recovery vehicle, due to the low tide.
The lifeboat was sanitised, rehoused, refuelled and ready for service again at 7pm.The casualty was later reported to be safely recovering in Boston hospital after this rapid multi-agency rescue.
Notes to editors
The RNLI is the Royal National Lifeboat Institution.
Wells RNLI is based on Beach Road, Wells-next-the-Sea, Norfolk, NR23 1DR. The lifeboat station was first founded in 1869 and the volunteer crew use an all weather Shannon class, Duke of Edinburgh and a D-class Inshore lifeboat, Peter Wilcox.
Brief History of Wells RNLI
There has been a lifeboat at Wells since 1830, the RNLI took over the operation in 1869. Until 1936 horses were used to launch the lifeboat and in fact Wells was the last station to have them replaced with a motor lifeboat, a surf-class, Royal Silver Jubilee 1910-1935.
The current lifeboats we have are the Inshore lifeboat a D-class Peter Wilcox since 2016 and a new in 2022 Shannon class lifeboat, Duke of Edinburgh.
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
Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries