At 17:21hr on Tuesday 12 May 2020, Seahouses All Weather Lifeboat was requested to launch by UK Coastguard, to convey an ambulance crew to Holy Island, where there was an elderly female with a head injury, believed to be from a fall. This incident was not Covid-19 related. Local Coastguards Officers were in attendance, and treating the casualty. The Holy Island Coastguard Team are Co-Responders for the Ambulance Service. The causeway was closed by the tide, with high tide at Seahouses at 19.34hr that day, and 5 minutes later at Holy Island. The tide was still rising, and had the ambulance crew crossed, they would soon be cut off on the island. The Lifeboat crew were paged and the lifeboat was launched, and after arrival of the ambulance crew at Seahouses, made best speed to Holy island in quite rough sea conditions. A squally wind was recording Force 5-7, making the passage uncomfortable for all aboard the lifeboat.
The Lifeboat arrived at 18:20hr, and the two Paramedics were transported to the Casualty’s location by the local Coastguard Rescue Team.. After stabilising the casualty, she was placed aboard the lifeboat, and brought back to Seahouses at 20:28hr that day, where she was transferred to the ambulance and taken to the Northumbria Critical Care Hospital at Cramlington.
The RNLI have no details of the casualty, or her condition, as she was under the care of the North East Ambulance Service personnel while aboard the lifeboat.
Lifeboat Operations Manager Ian Clayton commented, “While this was not a Covid-19 related incident, our crew made use of the PPE provided by the RNLI. It is not possible to social distance aboard a lifeboat, so any call will put our crews at some risk. However, the RNLI will continue to launch and respond as normal when needed. On this occasion, it was an uncomfortable but necessary passage for the casualty and the ambulance personnel. We wish the casualty a speedy recovery, and hope she had no adverse effects due to the unpleasant sea conditions while aboard the lifeboat. It was another good example of all of the services working well together.”