From L to R. Dave Ridout, Dan Hawkins, Andy Stone, Liam Mcdermott
Last December a Weston-super-Mare lifeboat was involved in the rescue of a man who had stopped breathing on the derelict Birnbeck Island. The four man crew and two policemen have been recognised for their efforts.
Just before 5:30 pm on Saturday December 14th 2014 Swansea Coastguard paged the Weston RNLI Launching Authority to say there was a distressed person on Birnbeck Island. This is the island at the north of Weston Bay from which the RNLI launched its lifeboats for 132 years. They had had to leave the island last November because of the extremely dangerous condition of the Pier connecting Birnbeck Island to the mainland.
It was thought there was a risk to life so the decision was made to launch the D Class lifeboat Anna Stock.
The crew began by a full search of the island sea perimeter but found nothing. Upon accessing the island the Lifeboat crew and police immediately found the casualty conscious but slumped against the north side of a building. While the police attempted to rouse the casualty, plans were made to evacuate by boat, thus avoiding using the unstable Pier. However while this was being organised the casualty suddenly deteriorated.
The casualty was now unconscious and his breathing had become very shallow. The lifeboat crew started to provide ventilatory support by bag and Oxygen. Helicopter assistance was called for but this was 40 minutes away. By now the casualty had stopped breathing and such a delay would have likely resulted in the death of the casualty.
In light of the immediate danger to life, three crew and two policemen carried him carefully by stretcher back across the precarious walkway of the Pier to where paramedics were waiting to assist at the Pier gates.
The Royal Humane Society has decided to award the four lifeboat crew and the two policemen with Certificates of Commendation. Liam McDermott, volunteer helmsman at Weston RNLI is also awarded the Certificate of Resuscitation.
The lifeboat crew were:
The PCs were;
The date of the Award Ceremony has not yet been determined
Don Sutherland, chair of Weston Lifeboat Management Group said; ‘This is what our RNLI crews do. Despite the dangerous conditions they disregarded their own safety. Using the knowledge and skills they have developed from their training and with the dedication for which they are famous they have given this man his best chance of survival. I am so proud of all of them.’