Author: Bob Warwick
New Brighton lifeboat stations hovercraft was called into action today to assist an elderly gentleman who had fallen in the mud while walking towards his yacht moored off Rock Ferry Promenade.
His predicament was spotted by a member of the public who alerted the emergency services, ultimately resulting in teams from HM Coastguard, Police, Ambulance and Fire & Rescue both land based and marine in attendance.
With difficulty he managed to get himself out of the gloopy mud and into his yacht where he was met by two officers of the Fire & Rescue service, equipped with mud boots, who waded out to the yacht to check on his situation. He was clearly suffering from cold that was later diagnosed by paramedics as mild hypothermia.
As it would have been difficult to get him ashore New Brighton’s hovercraft H-007 Samburgh was called to assist.
Graham Lowe, Senior Hovercraft Commander at New Brighton Lifeboat Station reported ‘When we arrived at the 22ft yacht which was about ¼ mile out from the shore, our pilot Ian Bruce, with a classy bit of flying, brought us as close as possible to the yacht. We were met by the two Fire & Rescue officers who brought us up to date with the situation. The elderly casualty was on his yacht under a tarpaulin trying to keep warm as possible. He was covered in mud and clearly feeling the cold, we brought him on board of our hovercraft, wrapped him up in blankets and flew him to the shore, carefully avoiding the many steel stakes protruding from the mud and very prevalent in that area. We passed the casualty on to the waiting paramedics and he was taken by ambulance to hospital for check up and we wish him well. It was fortunate that his plight had been spotted and the emergency services called as otherwise the outcome may have been far more serious’
Ian Thornton, duty officer in command at the lifeboat station commented ‘ Weather conditions were fairly benign but with a strong south westerly breeze, combined with his wet condition, contributed to the casualty suffering from the cold. We are fortunate in this area to have one of the four operational hovercraft in RNLI service, a very versatile craft that has proves its worth time after time in reaching casualties in difficult and potentially dangerous locations. This was a multi agency operation that went very smoothly and a tribute to all involved ‘