Medical evacuation from merchant vessel

Date: Friday 21 May 2021

Location: Falmouth Bay

Weather: WSW 5-6, Moderate Sea and Swell, Fair Visibility, Overcast with Rain Showers

All weather lifeboat: (Launched 18:01 / Returned 18:42) – Dave Nicoll (Deputy 2nd Coxswain), Tom Bird, Jonathan Hackwell, Adam West, Will Allen, Tamara Brookes, Jemima Henstridge-Blows


At 11:00 Falmouth Coastguard contacted the Deputy Launching Authority of Falmouth Lifeboat to advise that the a 132m Reefer was diverting to Falmouth after one of its crew had suffered a shoulder injury, with the vessel expected in Falmouth Bay in the early evening. At 17:52 the Falmouth All Weather Lifeboat was requested to launch to carry out the medical evacuation of the casualty.

The All Weather Lifeboat left its pontoon berth at 18:01 and headed out into Falmouth Bay. The pilot boat had already transferred a pilot to the vessel which headed into the lee of the west side of Falmouth Bay. Once on scene at 18:14 the lifeboat went alongside the vessel while underway so the casualty could be transferred to the lifeboat using the pilot ladder. The casualty was safely on board the lifeboat by 18:22 and having been assessed by the two casualty care trained lifeboat crew, one of whom was a doctor. the lifeboat then headed back towards Falmouth where the casualty was safely landed ashore to await the arrival of an Ambulance.

The All Weather Lifeboat was back alongside its pontoon berth by 18:42 where it was refuelled and made ready for service by 19:00.

The seaman had suffered the injury during a fall in rough weather while transiting from the Irish Sea into the Celtic Sea. Having contacted the Coastguard, medical advice was obtained from Doctors ashore who advised that the casualty had a badly dislocated shoulder with complications. The casualty was transferred to Hospital at 20:30.

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