Medical emergency on board anchored yacht

Date: Sunday 23 July 2017

Location: Falmouth Inner Harbour

Weather: W 2, Slight Sea and No Swell, Good Visibility, Sunny Periods

Inshore lifeboat: (Launched 10:28 / Returned 11:52) – Claire Angove (Helmsman), Tom Bird, Neil Capper, Josh Williams


At 10:22 Falmouth Coastguard requested the launch of Falmouth Inshore Lifeboat to assist in the treatment and medical evacuation of an injured sailor on board a yacht anchored off Custom House Quay. The casualty had been found by the Falmouth Harbour Patrol boat while carrying out their morning patrol of the anchorage.

The Inshore Lifeboat launched from her slipway at 10:28 and was alongside the yacht by 10:32. The Harbour launch was already alongside the yacht and two casualty care trained lifeboat crew went on board to assess the casualty who was in the yachts cabin. As an ambulance was already on its way it was decided to stabilise the casualty and to tow the yacht to the Falmouth Yacht Haven where they could be met by the paramedics. The vessels anchor was lifted and the yacht taken to the yacht haven where it was safely moored at 10:55. Once on scene the paramedics took over the treatment of the casualty and following the administration of addition pain relief the casualty was transferred ashore with the assistance of the lifeboat crew and harbour staff. At 11:49 the Inshore Lifeboat was therefore released to return to its station.

The Inshore Lifeboat was recovered onto its slipway at 11:52 where the lifeboat was refuelled and made ready for service by 12:15.

The casualty had fallen down the companionway of the yacht and sustained rib injuries and a potential punctured lung. It is believed that the incident had happened about an hour earlier and the casualty was only discovered when the harbour patrol pulled up alongside the anchored yacht. The staff member on board the harbour launch did an excellent job supporting the casualty until the arrival of the Inshore Lifeboat.