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RNLI Wells lifeboat volunteers save man’s life on hottest day on record





RNLI Wells volunteers saved a man’s life on the hottest day on record.

The inshore lifeboat was immediately paged by HM Coastguard at 2.17pm on Tuesday to go to the assistance of a man who was in distress off Wells west beach as temperatures soared.

The man in distress was a non-swimmer and in a rubber inflatable ring. He had got into difficulties as he was swept offshore. Three passers-by were alerted to his situation and two of them tried to help, but they were unable to bring him to the beach because of the strong offshore wind.

Wells lifeboat: rescue volunteers holding rope to save man’s life on hottest day on record, Tuesday 19 July.
Wells lifeboat: rescue volunteers holding rope to save man’s life on hottest day on record, Tuesday 19 July.

The volunteer lifeboat crew launched at 2.24pm and arrived on scene eight minutes later to find that all on scene were accounted for. The man in distress was landed on the safety of the beach.

He had dislocated his shoulder, was suffering from heatstroke and was severely dehydrated.

Essential casualty care was carried out by the lifeboat crew on scene as the man drifted in and out of consciousness. He was exhausted and suffering from the ingestion of sea water. Medical assistance was requested, and the casualty was subsequently sick and started to feel a little better.

Wells lifeboat: rescue volunteers save man’s life on hottest day on record, Tuesday 19 July.
Wells lifeboat: rescue volunteers save man’s life on hottest day on record, Tuesday 19 July.

Whilst awaiting medical assistance, the station Softrack launch and recovery vehicle, together with crew, a stretcher and oxygen, left the Boathouse for the beach where the inshore lifeboat and casualty were located.

The Softrack was on scene at 3.12pm and the person in difficulties, who was still receiving medical attention, was placed on a stretcher in the inshore lifeboat.

The Softrack and lifeboat returned to the new boathouse and the casualty was transferred to the cooler confines of the crew changing room, where the lifeboat crew and the local paramedic continued their first aid.

The ambulance arrived at 4.15pm – when the inshore lifeboat was stood down – and the casualty started to respond positively and was taken to hospital for further assessment and treatment.

Lifeboat operations manager, Chris Hardy, said: "It is understandable that people want to get in the sea on a day as hot as today, but the currents around Wells are strong and as the tide goes out, they can very quickly carry the strongest of swimmers out to sea. Inflatables of any sort should not be used on Wells beach, especially when there is an offshore wind with the tide going out as was the situation today.

"This man’s life was saved today by the quick response of our volunteer lifeboat crew."



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