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Dungeness RNLI lifeboat responds to person taken ill on chartered fishing boat

By Molly Mileham-Chappell

RNLI volunteers rushed out to sea after reports that a fishing boat skipper had been taken ill.

On Sunday, December 30 just after 11.30am, the charity lifeboat was paged following a phone call that the commander of a local 10m chartered fishing boat was unwell three miles south of Dungeness and needed medical assistance.

Once launched on service, Coxswain Stuart Adams in command of the RNLI relief Shannon class lifeboat 13-12 ‘Casandra' and crew headed to the casualty’s position.

Ambulance in attendance at Dungeness RNLI lifeboat station waiting for patient on lifeboat. Credit: RNLI Judith Richardson (6283960)
Ambulance in attendance at Dungeness RNLI lifeboat station waiting for patient on lifeboat. Credit: RNLI Judith Richardson (6283960)

Two casualty care trained volunteer crew members were transferred from the lifeboat to assess the patient.

After consulting Coxswain Adams, the HM Coastguard Rescue helicopter from Lydd was tasked to airlift the patient to hospital.

They were transferred from the fishing boat to the lifeboat and a helicopter paramedic was lowered on to the RNLI lifeboat.

However, visibility at the William Harvey Hospital in Ashford was too poor for landing, and the helicopter returned to Lydd while the paramedic stayed with the patient on board the lifeboat, and they returned to the lifeboat station where an ambulance was waiting.

Two volunteer crew members from the lifeboat safely delivered the chartered fishing boat and her passengers back to her home port in Rye.

Coxswain Adams said: "Breaking from the Christmas holiday to respond to their pagers, the crew worked very well as a team transferring the first aiders between vessels. It was an excellent job by our volunteers."

SECAmb spokesman Rich Airey said: "I can confirm one ambulance crew attended the scene but we didn’t take anyone to hospital."

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