Burnham-on-Sea RNLI training exercise with local gig club
Burnham-on-Sea sailing club is home to an enthusiastic rowing gig club.
Since gig rowing has been defined as the fastest growing water-based sport in the South-West of England, Burnham RNLI and the club’s organisers, after some discussion, decided to hold a joint casualty extraction exercise.
Hence, this Wednesday training evening (13 June), both RNLI lifeboats were launched at the usual launch time to seek out the Burnham-on –Sea club gig Jane Campbell with the intent of extracting two exercise casualties. One gig crew member was deemed to have fallen overboard, but after recovery become very cold, verging on hypothermia, and the other had apparently fallen in the boat, suffering from a suspected broken leg.
Once the gig was located, lifeboats Burnham Reach and Staines Whitfield rafted alongside and prepared to deal with the casualties. This was good practice for the lifeboat volunteers, and equally useful for the gig crew who had not yet had to deal with an emergency.
The hypothermic gig member was brought in to the sailing club pontoons by the crew of D class lifeboat Burnham Reach, whilst the crew of Staines Whitfield dealt with the broken leg problem.
The second casualty was now collected by the D class lifeboat crew, whilst Staines Whitfield crew shepherded the now short-handed gig back to the Sailing club pontoons.
RNLI Launch Authority Phil Counsell says; ‘With the increasing local popularity of gig racing, this was an ideal opportunity for our volunteers to become familiar with the craft and it’s characteristics.
Gig Coxswain Mark Rennie adds; ‘Equally, our rowers received useful experience, and are more aware of lifeboat requirements if we ever require assistance.’
Notes to editors
Images with this release
- File name: dual support (Credit Gig Coxswain Mark Rennie) Shows the Burnham-on-Sea lifeboats ramped either side of the gig
- File name: at_sailing_club (RNLI/Mike Lang) After the gig has returned to the sailing club pontoons
Lifeboats in service at Burnham-on-Sea:
A 7.5m Atlantic 75 named Staines Whitfield and a smaller 4.95m D class IB1 inflatable named Burnham Reach The station was opened officially on 15th May 2004, but has been operational since December 2003.
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