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Plymouth RNLI volunteers come to the aid of an unwell crew member

Lifeboats News Release

Plymouth RNLI's all-weather lifeboat Sybil Mullen Glover and her volunteer crew were requested to launch by Falmouth Coastguard to assist with a medical evacuation from a carrier ship 10 miles south east of Plymouth Breakwater.

Plymouth RNLI approaching large cargo ship

RNLI/ Wesley Foster

Plymouth RNLI assist with casualty extraction

As the pagers sounded on Wednesday 2 March at 2.10pm our volunteer crew made their way down to the station and proceeded to kit up ready for launch.

The Severn class lifeboat, capable of launching in all weather with a range of 250 nautical miles and 2x Caterpillar marine diesel engines producing 1,250hp, launched from Millbay Marina and made best speed of 25 knots towards the vessel located 10 nautical miles south east of Plymouth .

Once on scene the casualty was assessed by the volunteer crew then the decision was made by the coxswain Simon Jeffery to take the casualty on board then to be taken back to Plymouth Lifeboat Station to an awaiting ambulance. The volunteer crew were treated to the sun shining and calm waters during the rescue which made recovering the casualty from the carrier much easier.

Taskings such as this one are exactly why our station has a Seven class all-weather lifeboat, capable of carrying out such tasks in a busy commercial port with major shipping lanes just south of the Breakwater.

Coxswain Simon Jeffery said: 'It's not often we are tasked to a 205m bulk carrier to assist with a casualty evacuation but today our volunteer crew conducted the extraction perfectly. I would like to add well done to our new trainee crew. We wish the casualty a speedy recovery.'

Mechanic Wesley Foster added: 'A successful medical evacuation from a large vessel is something we don’t often get to experience. A great experience for some of our volunteer trainees and to top it off there was some sunshine.'

If you see someone else in trouble at the coast, call 999 or 112 and ask for the Coastguard.

You can also call for help using a VHF radio on channel 16. This communicates the distress message to all vessels and shore stations in range.

RNLI/Darren Shave

Plymouth RNLI approach large cargo ship to assist with casualty extraction

RNLI/John Baldry

Coxswain Simon Jeffery on the Plymouth All Weather Lifeboat

RNLI/Wesley Foster

Darren preparing to extract the casualty from the casualty vessel

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.