Aug 31


Byline: Volunteer crew from the RNLI’s Barrow station launched the all weather lifeboat ‘Grace Dixon’ at 7-40pm tonight, Saturday 31st August 2013 to attend a ship in the Irish Sea, where two casualties were in need of a medical evacuation.
Page Content: Liverpool Coastguard had requested lifeboat assistance at 7-30 pm following a report from the Captain of the 6200 ton cable layer,‘Stemat Spirit’, that two of his crew were ill and required immediate evacuation to hospital. One, a Filipino national, was apparently suffering from a stroke and the second from the UK suffered from a severe abdominal problem.

The vessel at the time was west of the Walney Windfarm approximately 7 miles from the mainland and was engaged in a cable laying operation. The tide was flooding at the time with high water of 7.2 metres expected at 9pm, and the wind was a Force 4 from the northwest.
The ‘Grace Dixon’ was launched at 7-40pm with 2nd Coxswain Jonny Long in charge of the crew, Dave Kell, Andy Baxter, Mark Harper, Ben Jackson, Adam Cleasby and Phil Taylor. She arrived on scene at 8-05pm.

Due to the size and position of the ship coupled with the swell of 8 feet, it was a difficult manoeuvre to get alongside the vessel and took two attempts before Deputy 2nd Coxswain Dave Kell and crewman Phil Taylor were able to make the jump between the vessels and onto the pilot ladder to climb aboard. Once aboard Dave Kell assessed both casualties and decided to recover them to the lifeboat where further treatment could be administered.

Once Jonny Long had brought the lifeboat alongside, the ship and lifeboat crews helped to get the two casualties aboard the lifeboat where they were made comfortable by Dave Kell who administered oxygen to one and entonox pain killing gas to the other. The lifeboat then made her way back to Barrow lifeboat station where she arrived at 9-15pm. An ambulance crew along with a Filipino interpreter were awaiting the arrival and both casualties were taken to Furness General Hospital for further treatment.

The lifeboat was then washed down and re-housed ready for the next service.

Deputy 2nd Coxswain Dave Kell said, “There was a bit of a swell running out there which made the jump between vessels and also the transfer of casualties back to the lifeboat, a bit hairy. We managed without incident and we got them away to hospital for treatment as quickly as possible”.

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