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72 Mile RNLI Lifeboat Dash To Evacuate Injured Fisherman

Lifeboats News Release

A fisherman's injury led to Tynemouth RNLI lifeboat making at 72 mile round trip to bring him ashore for treatment.

The skipper of the 86m, 2098 tonne French factory trawler Sandette called Humber Coastguard shortly before 11:00 on Sunday (October 2nd, 2016) for assistance after one of his crew member was thought to have suffered a broken ankle.
Tynemouth RNLI all weather lifeboat was requested to launch and set off at 11:11 on the 36 mile dash to the Sandette, which was also steaming closer to shore from her position east of the Northumberland coast.
Arriving at the vessel just over an hour after launching, the lifeboat crew found that the 43 year old fisherman was 'walking wounded' and was able to board the lifeboat by ladder, assisted by the volunteer crew members.
Once he was safely on board, the lifeboat made best speed back to the lifeboat station, where Fishermen's Mission Superintendent Peter Dade met the casualty and took him to the Emergency Care Centre at North Tyneside General Hospital, along with translator Gill Rutter, where he was diagnosed with two fractures in his right foot . 
His leg was put in a temporary support boot and he was then put up in a Whitley Bay hotel for the night, thanks to the Mission and the shipping agent acting for his vessel.
On Monday morning he attended the fracture clinic at the Northumbria Specialist Emergency Care Hospital, Cramlington where his foot was put in a cast.
The fisherman's company arranged for the casualty to fly home from Newcastle airport later on Monday afternoon.
Adrian Don, spokesman for Tynemouth RNLI lifeboat station, said: 'The fisherman wasn't in any immediate danger so our all weather lifeboat was sent to evacuate him from the vessel, rather than a rescue helicopter being tasked. 
'Weather conditions offshore were challenging but our Coxswain and volunteer crew used their experience to safely get the fisherman on board the lifeboat.
'Once he was back on dry land the Fisherman's Mission, also a charity, stepped in to do what they do best which is helping fishermen in distress. 
'North Shields Mission Superintendent Peter Dade, assisted by translator Gill Rutter, arranged to get him to hospital, avoiding a lengthy wait for an ambulance, then liaised with his company to make sure he had somewhere to stay for the night and then return to hospital the following day for treatment, and then get him to the airport for his flight home.
'This was a great example of the RNLI, HM Coastguard and the Fishermen's Mission all working together to ensure the well-being of the casualty'
For more information please contact Adrian Don, Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer, on 07834 731833.
Tynemouth RNLI lifeboat station was established in 1862 although there have been lifeboats on the river Tyne since the world's first purpose built lifeboat was launched here in 1790. The station has 30 volunteer crew members who come from all walks of life. We operate two lifeboats: The Severn class all weather lifeboat Spirit of Northumberland and our D class inshore lifeboat Mark Noble. We have a website at, and you can find us on Facebook at or follow us on Twitter @TynemouthRNLI

Key facts about the RNLI

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution is the charity that saves lives at sea. Our volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service in the United Kingdom and Ireland from 238 lifeboat stations, including four along the River Thames and inland lifeboat stations at Loch Ness, Lough Derg, Enniskillen, Carrybridge and Lough Ree. Additionally the RNLI has more than 1,000 lifeguards on over 240 beaches around the UK and operates a specialist flood rescue team, which can respond anywhere across the UK and Ireland when inland flooding puts lives at risk.

The RNLI relies on public donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. As a charity it is separate from, but works alongside, government-controlled and funded coastguard services. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824 our lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved at least 140,000 lives. Volunteers make up 95% of the charity, including 4,600 volunteer lifeboat crew members and 3,000 volunteer shore crew. Additionally, tens of thousands of other dedicated volunteers raise funds and awareness, give safety advice, and help in our museums, shops and offices.

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The RNLI is a charity registered in England and Wales (209603) and Scotland (SC037736). Charity number 20003326 in the Republic of Ireland