Reliability, Performance, Compliance


Swanage Lifeboat uses flare in helicopter rescue


Swanage Lifeboat personnel used a flare to direct a Coastguard helicopter to a casualty with a broken arm at Chapman’s Pool, in Dorset, UK.

The call-out happened on UK Mother’s Day during strong north easterly breeze conditions and rough seas.

Inshore lifeboat helmsman, Matt Steeden says, “The sea conditions were challenging with swell along the route and rougher seas around the headlands. As we reached Chapman's Pool, we were sheltered from the wind, making it easier for us to manoeuvre in the shallows.”

In attendance with Swanage lifeboat crews were HM Coastguards, paramedics and the HM Coastguard helicopter.

Due to the shallow waters, the inshore lifeboat, Phyl & Jack dropped crew member, Darren Tomes ashore to discover the best access and to find out what assistance was required.

It was decided that the HM Coastguard helicopter would rescue the casualty and transfer them to the waiting ambulance. Darren ignited a smoke flare to direct the helicopter to the casualty, who was rescued by a winchman with a stretcher.

The sea was too rough to transfer the equipment by air, so it was done so later on land.

Afterwards, the two Swanage lifeboats rescued a windsurfer with a broken board. In total, they were at sea for nearly two hours.

The photograph shows HM Coastguard helicopter approaching Swanage Lifeboat and is credit of RNLI/Duncan Youngs.

Mar 26, 2020