Lifeboat launched after yacht crew member suffers serious head injury


The Newhaven Lifeboat was launched yesterday afternoon (July 14) after a crew member on board a yacht suffered a serious head injury.

The volunteer crew left the station at around 3.10pm on Tuesday afternoon and headed toward a 13-metre yacht approximately 25Nm south of Newhaven, in the world’s busiest shipping lanes.

The lifeboat made at full speed to the location and arrived approximately 50 minutes later.

Solent Coastguard, who were coordinating the rescue efforts, also tasked the HM Coastguard helicopter, call sign Rescue 104. They had arrived on scene and winched their paramedic on board the yacht.

It was reported the injury had been caused after the boom swung around and struck the head of a crew member.

Following an assessment by the aircraft’s crew, the injured person was winched into the helicopter and taken to the Royal Sussex County Hospital, in Brighton.

The lifeboat arrived on scene just as the helicopter was departing. The lifeboat ensured the wellbeing of the two persons left on board the yacht and their skill level. It was agreed the lifeboat would shadow the yacht until it was clear of the shipping lanes before leaving it to continue its journey.

The lifeboat returned to station and was ready for service at 7.30pm.

Lee Blacknell, Second Coxswain, said: “We train regularly for emergency medical incidents and work closely with other search and rescue assets, including the helicopter. The shipping lanes are an incredibly busy and can be a dangerous place for small vessels.”

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