Largs RNLI Casualty care exercise - Seabiscuit.
Training at Largs Lifeboat station is pretty run of the mill, following the Standard Operating Procedures to ensure all tasks are completed in a safe manner. Occasionally we like to make the training as real as possible, the last exercise was one of those times.
Largs Volunteer crew members Michael Holcombe (Orric), James Welsh and Steven Kemp turned up to training on the evening of Wednesday 24 May expecting to go afloat and run through standard training, however the allocated Helm for the exercise had a different plan.
As the crew were sitting discussing what they had been up to lately Launch Authority Richard Cain advised that for exercise purposes the station had been contacted advising there was an ongoing incident, the following information had been received.
Two people onboard a what yacht at anchor in the vicinity of Ballochmartin Bay Isle of Cumbrae, 1 person had been cooking and the cooking oil being used had flared up onto their face, neck, and hands. In a panic she had tried to exit the galley of the yacht and had slipped and fallen back onto the floor of the saloon area, in the process sustaining a lower leg injury.
With this information the crew led by Orric boarded the stations Atlantic 85 lifeboat and made best speed to the area given.
On arrival both Steven and James boarded the yacht and began an initial casualty care assessment of the female.
After dressing the burns and immobilising her injured leg the crew had to figure out how to extract the female from inside the yacht and onto the Lifeboat for transport to shore and an awaiting ambulance.
For safety purposes once the crew had decided to move the female, she was replaced by a training dummy to ensure no actual injury was caused.
Once the dummy had been moved onto the Lifeboat the exercise was ended and a brief discussion took place before returning to the Lifeboat Station where a full in depth debrief was held.
One of the most agreed points was the difficulty found extracting someone from a yacht due to confined space and small access hatches on the yacht. All crew involved found the training exercise extremely useful and hoped to take part in more in the future.
The station management and crew involved in the training would like to thank fellow station Helm Gordon Kennedy and his wife Rachael for the use of his yacht and Rachael for being the casualty, their time was greatly appreciated as was the time given by Angus Fergusson another helm at the station who was an observer during the exercise and provided great feedback during the debrief.
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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