May 26


Byline: Dramatic video footage of a fisherman, who suffered a seizure two miles out to sea, being winched from an RNLI lifeboat up to an RAF helicopter has been released by the charity that saves lives at sea.
Page Content: Clacton-on-Sea volunteer RNLI lifeboat crew launched at 11.55am on Monday 25 May following a Mayday call for help from the fishing vessel to the Coastguard after a man on board began fitting in the Thames Estuary.  

Tim Sutton, RNLI helmsman, said: ‘When we arrived crew member Darren Simper jumped on to the fishing boat to check his condition and give first aid. It became clear very quickly that he needed urgent medical attention.

‘We needed to get him to a hospital fast so the decision was made to winch him up to the RAF Search and Rescue Helicopter from Wattisham which was flying above us. We got into position below the helicopter and took the winch man onto the lifeboat.

‘He carried out his own assessment of the casualty who was then winched up to the helicopter. This is a tricky manoeuvre requiring skill and pinpoint co-ordination between the helicopter and lifeboat crews, but it is something we regularly train for and he was taken on board the helicopter safely.’

The fisherman was flown to Colchester General Hospital while Clacton's RNLI lifeboat made its journey back to station where it was refuelled and ready for its next launch by 1.10pm.

Tim Sutton added: ‘This was a good, quick medical evacuation thanks to our crew and the crew from the rescue helicopter – we hope the casualty makes a quick recovery.’

This was the third rescue for Clacton-on-Sea RNLI over bank holiday weekend. In the early hours of Saturday morning, the volunteer crew were called to rescue a man showing signs of hypothermia, stuck in the mud in the River Colne at Rowhedge.

On Sunday morning, the charity’s volunteer crew were in action once again as they rescued a seasick and exhausted charity rower. The RNLI lifeboat crew retrieved the casualty and he was rushed to hospital, before the rowing boat was towed in to shore.


Media contacts:
• James Oxley RNLI Public Relations Manager (London/East/South East)
0207 6207425 / 07786 668825 / 
• Sophie Coller-Nielsen RNLI Press Officer (London/East/South East)
0207 6207426 / 07785 296252 /
• For enquiries outside normal business hours, contact the RNLI duty press officer on 01202 336789       

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