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Dart RNLI rescue 80 year old sailor from the River Dart.

Lifeboats News Release

The RNLI Dart inshore lifeboat crew rescued a semi-conscious elderly man who had fallen in the water whilst boarding his yacht on Saturday 23 September at 11pm.

The casualty was transferring from a pontoon in the river to his live aboard yacht when he fell in. His cries for help were heard by John Sealey who was just ending his shift on the Yacht Taxi close by. John was able to throw him a life ring and secure it but could not lift him from the water. Mr Sealey immediately called the Coastguard who tasked the RNLI Dart D class lifeboat, the Dartmouth Coastguard SAR team and the Police.

James Hoare, who is senior helm at RNLI Torbay, was standing in as relief helm at Dart RNLI for the weekend and the lifeboat was with the casualty in 12 minutes from the pager being activated. Haydn Glanvill, paramedic on the lifeboat crew, went into the water to support the casualty who was semi conscious and after 20 minutes in the water was quite incapable of helping himself.

The lifeboat was directed to the Town pontoon where the casualty could be placed on a Coastguard stretcher and was assessed by the paramedic. The D class then moved the short distance to the Lower Ferry slip where an ambulance was waiting. He was brought ashore by a combined team from the RNLI Dart lifeboat and shore teams, the Coastguards and Police. When his condition slowly started to improve with treatment he was transferred to Torbay Hospital where he was admitted.

The D class lifeboat used by the Dart volunteers had come from the RNLI's relief fleet whilst the Dart lifeboat was being serviced. This was D812's first ever shout.

Dart lifeboat and Coastguard volunteers, along with the Police, gently lifted the casualty from the lifeboat on the Ferry slip.

RNLI/Andy Kyle

Lifeboat and Coastguard volunteers, along with the Police, transferred the casualty to an Ambulance on the Dartmouth Lower Ferry slip.
James Hoare, helmsman, Chris Rampling Dart lifeboat crew and Will Davis Dart Launch crew standing in front of the D class lifeboat after the casualty had been transferred.

RNLI/Dr John Fenton

From Right to Left. James Hoare, helmsman, Chris Rampling, Dart lifeboat crew and Will Davis Dart launch crew.

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 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