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Old 22 November 2004, 13:26   #1
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An incident + something to think about??

Unfortunately I helped out on a rescue somebody after an incident where somebody got hurt over the weekend.

The bottom line somebody had seriously hurt their back and neck and was in the water. His friends had fitted a neck brace and spine board and were in the water with him. It was bitterly cold but everybody in the water did have dry suits.

We attended following a mayday call and discovered about 15 small boats scattered across a square mile area. The little boats had 2 large RIBS with limited safety gear, no GPS (viz was about 1.5miles) compass or first aid kits. One of the Ribs had a driver who quote "didn’t know how to drive it" so a friend hopped into it and acted as a safety boat for the little boats whilst I went back to the other RIB and tried to stop other boat users from driving over the bodies in the water. I asked repeatedly if they want to bring him into my boat as the casualty was very cold and obviously hypothermic. The casualties friends declined despite the neck brace and spine board.

An inshore lifeboat (nice bit of kit)(not the RNLI) attended and went straight to the casualty. They spoke directly to the coasties and a helicopter was dispatched. They made no effort to get him out of the water, despite the waves which were causing the casualty agony (he was head on to the waves so he felt every wavelength) Then another rib turned up. nice diesel water jet thingy about 3 tonnes worth. He crashed into me at about ten knots and told me I "shouldn’t wave at him and he would tell me what to do not the other way round." The boat had a plaque about 5 inches by 2 saying ILB ...!

They then drove off scrapping my tubes from bow to stern towards the casualty. Then went up wind of him so that the boat kept blowing over the people in the water. They were not very happy at this and to say didn't look comfortable would be an understatement!

The helicopter had arrived and so had a load of yachts! The first ILB asked us to keep the yachts clear of the area which we did. Most boats quickly turned away but as ever there were a few hardcore helicopter collectors!

The helicopter winch man was put on to the first ILB after about 15 mins and he entered the water. The second ILB was still up wind and the people in the water had their feet on the hull to stop going underneath it.

FORTY MINS later the person was airlifted horizontally out of the water and taken to hospital. The casualties friends were cold but OK and they were taken to mainland. Went then went back to our NDP.

So why the long rant? I may have the wrong impression or just not understood what was happening but;

1) The first lifeboat was prompt to attend but lacked a co-ordinated approach once on the scene. They very quickly got the winch man on to the boat. They had appropriate equipment and stationed themselves sensibly.

2) The second ILB was rude and quite frankly not capable of driving the boat they had been given. I my opinion he was a hindrance to the operation not a help. Fine many of you will disagree or say your not the one on standby etc. I am aware of these things but, the quality of this rescue team was not really up to scratch.

3) Why did the safety boats not have better kit on board like a GPS or people who were familiar with the boats?

I hope this prompts some discussion and something we can learn from not an attack on me and others.

I would be interested to heard of anybody "in the know" who can explain why things happened in that particular order.

Chris
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Old 22 November 2004, 13:45   #2
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where in the UK was this? were both boats non RNLI?


edit to add: doesnt sound Like RNLI quality training, and maybe you should complain to the Lifeboat Station both these vessels came from and maybe the Coastguard.
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Old 22 November 2004, 13:49   #3
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I am a member of a boat club which has three safety/rescue boats. We are supposed to carry a load of safety kit, which we try to do. However, with so many different people using the boats on a daily basis, things can easily go missing/get used and not replaced. It's quite a job to keep things like first aid kits topped up sometimes. Things like knives tend to get removed to be used elsewhere and then not put back.

However, a coastal rescue operation is a bit different. Surly if operating in a safety RIB on the sea, as you say, they should have GPS. A boat that's not being used daily shouldn't be low on things like first aid eqiptment.

As a footnote, when I did a course of water safety, we were told to get the casulty out of the water as soon as possible. To me, leaving someone with spinal injuries in the water for forty minutes isn't going to do him any favors!
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Old 22 November 2004, 13:51   #4
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if the casualty was on a spinal board in the water it would have been fairly easy to lift them carefully (and slowly) out of the water and onto the deck of the rib or the sponsons if deck not possible!!!
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Old 22 November 2004, 14:27   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CJL
then a other rib turned up. nice diesel water jet thingy about 3 tonnes worth. He crashed into me at about ten knots and told me I "shouldn’t wave at him and he would tell me what to do not the other way round." The boat had a plaque about 5 inches by 2 saying ILB ...!

They then drove off scrapping my tubes from bow to stern towards the casualty.

2) The second ILB was rude and quite frankly not capable of driving the boat they had been given. I my opinion he was a hindrance to the operation not a help. Fine many of you will disagree or say your not the one on standby etc. I am aware of these things but, the quality of this rescue team was not really up to scratch.

Chris
seems to be like the bloke on that 999 program on sky i watched this guy had a big rib with two crew kept shouting what he was doing but went to help a small sailing boat and ran over it crashed in to a lagre motor boat at some speed that had a traped anchor chain. and the worst bit a small sailing boat had lost it mast so one of his crew jumped in to push the mast to the rear so they could tow and he' i could not belive it hit his own crew in the head with the bow

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Old 22 November 2004, 14:43   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CJL

The bottom line somebody had seriously hurt their back and neck and was in the water. His friends had fitted a neck brace and spine board and were in the water with him. It was bitterly cold but everybody in the water did have dry suits.

I went back to the other RIB and tried to stop other boat users from driving over the bodies in the water. I asked repeatedly if they want to bring him into my boat as the casualty was very cold and obviously hypothermic. The casualties friends declined despite the neck brace and spine board.

An inshore lifeboat (nice bit of kit)(not the RNLI) attended and went straight to the casualty. They spoke directly to the coasties and a helicopter was dispatched. They made no effort to get him out of the water, despite the waves which were causing the casualty agony (he was head on to the waves so he felt every wavelength) Then another rib turned up. nice diesel water jet thingy about 3 tonnes worth. He crashed into me at about ten knots and told me I "shouldn’t wave at him and he would tell me what to do not the other way round." The boat had a plaque about 5 inches by 2 saying ILB ...!

They then drove off scrapping my tubes from bow to stern towards the casualty. Then went up wind of him so that the boat kept blowing over the people in the water. They were not very happy at this and to say didn't look comfortable would be an understatement!

The helicopter had arrived and so had a load of yachts! The first ILB asked us to keep the yachts clear of the area which we did. Most boats quickly turned away but as ever there were a few hardcore helicopter collectors!

The helicopter winch man was put on to the first ILB after about 15 mins and he entered the water. The second ILB was still up wind and the people in the water had their feet on the hull to stop going underneath it.

FORTY MINS later the person was airlifted horizontally out of the water and taken to hospital. The casualties friends were cold but OK and they were taken to mainland. Went then went back to our NDP.





Chris
I think you did a good job from the sounds of it , hard to say why the safety boats had limited safety kit (WHO WAS CARRYING THE COLLAR AND SPINAL BOARD apologise for late edit)
the guys in the water did a good job getting a collar on and then onto a spinal board not sure why they did not get him onto your rib as you say 40 mins in the water hypothermia is setting in .
As to the ribs and how they handled it ,well rib 1 started ok but may be the helocopter knew its eta and decided best to leave casualty there as to reduce further movement so no comment as was not there ,rib 2 no excuse for being rude and bad boat handling he could of been trying to present himself to the waves to lesson the impact of the guy in the water , who should have been 90 degrees to the oncoming waves to lesson the impact so may be thats why the rib 2 positioned itself where it did, In a situation like this preservation of life is no1 priority he was secured to a spinal board and had a neck brace and then evacuated hoizontally to minimise movement and and post immersion collapse .They could still have put the casualty on any of the ribs and placed coats towels anything else to hand to keep him warm while waiting for the Helocopter but maybe it was their call, an average build adult will survive 2-3 hours in 10Deg C . So maybe again by leaving the casualty in the water was the call of the helocopter and reduce the windchill was it cold that day and windy very hard to say what action to take .I think you did a good job and handled it well .
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Old 22 November 2004, 15:19   #7
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not quite on the safety topic - sorry , but how come he was in the water. Was he fliped out of one of the 2 ribs or the little boats

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Old 22 November 2004, 15:45   #8
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not quite on the safety topic - sorry , but how come he was in the water. Was he fliped out of one of the 2 ribs or the little boats

Paul
Without naming anywhere or anybody the casualty was thrown from one of the smaller boats. I'm glad I'm not the only person who considers it took a long time. I`m considering writting to the second lifeboats station to get some sort of apology.

It make you think about what training the rescue organisations get. I`m sure that in most cases the training is 100% but I think the weekend change my views.

The MCA web site has a code of conduct for rescue boats which should be implemented soon. Its been done with various organisations inc the RNLI who I know are busy training their old salty sea dog skippers how to do a level 2 pb ticket. Crazy in most cases but it certainly ensures everybody knows the basics.


Chris
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Old 22 November 2004, 16:03   #9
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The MCA web site has a code of conduct for rescue boats which should be implemented soon. Its been done with various organisations inc the RNLI who I know are busy training their old salty sea dog skippers how to do a level 2 pb ticket. Crazy in most cases but it certainly ensures everybody knows the basics.


Chris
Bloody typical - some idiot with a level 2 more qualified than an RNLI cox with 20 years experience!!!!
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Old 22 November 2004, 16:06   #10
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Crazy I know!

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