RNLI Update September 2017

Incidents/Call Outs

An 80 year old sailor fell into the water whilst transferring from a mid-river pontoon to his boat at 11pm on Saturday night. Fortunately John Sealey from the yacht Taxi Service was close by and heard his shout for help. He threw him a life ring and secured it but was unable to lift him from the water.

From right to left. James Hoare, helmsman. Chris Rampling lifeboat crew and Will Davis Shore crew who came to help get the casualty ashore. Haydn Glanvill, paramedic lifeboat crew was in the ambulance with the casualty.

James Hoare, a senior helmsman from RNLI Torbay station, was on relief duty this weekend and helmed the boat. He said, “This man was certainly extremely lucky. He was very fortunate that the water taxi heard his calls for help and was able to help and raise the alarm so quickly. It could very easily have ended in tragedy; I would say that together we saved this man’s life.”

Servicing Our Lifeboat

D class lifeboats are serviced at the Inshore Lifeboat Centre at East Cowes.
Our boat, D702, has currently been replaced by the brand new D812 from the Relief Fleet at Poole while this servicing takes place. She had 10 minutes on the clock when she arrived so her very first call out resulted in what is probably a Life Saved. We will be receiving our own replacement D class, D838, in May 2019.

The River Clean Up was a great success and fun at the same time.

The volunteers from the lifeboat teams, the Coastguards, Harbour Authority staff and the Dartmouth Midi Skip family lined up before getting their feet wet. In fact the Coastguards managed to arrange for their pagers to go off before any of them had stepped on a boat! They were called to an “unexploded bomb” that one of our lifeboat crew had dug up the day before. News travels slowly from Stoke Fleming! (And it wasn’t a bomb)
The photos of the above event have not come across at all well and they will be found on the station web site in the Photo Gallery..

Warning of ‘Portuguese Man o’ War’

Mark Cooper, our Dartmouth Harbour Master, has asked me to circulate the news that a Portuguese Man o’ War has been sighted in the river. A purple float, shaped a little like a Cornish pasty, is visible on the water’s surface whilst blue, tentacle-like ‘fishing polyps’ hang below; these can be tens of metres in length. It’s the tentacle-like polyps that can give an agonising and potentially lethal sting, Because a stranded Portuguese Man o’ war looks a bit like a deflating purple balloon with blue ribbons attached, children will find it fascinating. So, if you’re visiting west coast beaches in the next few weeks it’s well worth making sure you know what these animals look like and that no one picks them up. The stings can be unbelievably painful and, in rare cases, fatal.

Community Review

On 19 January 2017 our Community Review was presented at the lifeboat station to a high powered visiting team from the RNLI chaired by Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence. Centre.
We presented reports on the RNLI Dart Lifeboat station, our 2017 Community Review and our Lifeboat Operational report. The team visits all lifeboat stations once every five years and the results of their deliberations will be made known after Wednesday 27 September.
This year has been our busiest ever up to this time in the year and two call outs are being assessed as to whether they should be classified as “Lives Saved” – we live in interesting times.

John Fenton
RNLI Dart Lifeboat Press Officer.