When volunteer crew-members responded to their pagers going off at 5:10 pm on Tuesday last week, April 6, the Coastguard request for assistance took them out of Rye Harbour and some five miles into Rye Bay.
The TS (training ship) Royalist, a two-masted square-rigger of 32m, had on board a casualty with a hand/arm injury and, while our Atlantic eighty-five ILB (inshore lifeboat) made the short trip out to the tall ship, the crew was able to gain basic information about the casualty.
On arrival, Helm Matt Ellis decided to put two crewmen, Tim Brown and George Clark, aboard and using their first aid training they were able to give immediate appropriate care. “The casualty was already in good hands,” said Tim, “because this training vessel was staffed by highly competent sailors”.
Initially, the plan was to transfer the casualty to the lifeboat and take him to emergency services on land, but it was decided to deploy a SAR (search and rescue) helicopter from nearby Lydd. Tim continued: “A paramedic from the helicopter was winched down to Royalist and she continued giving first aid while the helicopter returned to Lydd for refuelling”.
It was then possible to transfer the casualty swiftly to hospital in Ashford and the two lifeboat crew rejoined Hello Herbie II for the journey back to the lifeboat station in Rye Harbour.
“We train to help save lives at sea,” concluded Tim, “and we encounter all sorts of situations. Here there was a casualty on a very well-run training ship and a highly professional helicopter crew and we were glad to play our part in the rescue.”
Image Credits: John Minter .