St Helier ILB launched to yachtsman with head injury


The St Helier Inshore Lifeboat was paged shortly after 1pm, intially to respond to a distress message sent by VHF radio using the DSC (digital selective calling) system by a vessel near Corbiere. However, the vessel realised that it had sent the message in error and used its VHF radio to inform the Coastguard that it was a false alarm. 

Whilst this exchange was taking place, St Helier Vessel Traffic Service (VTS) took a call from a fisherman that he was alongside a yacht just northwest of the Demie de Pas lighthouse with a sole crew member who required medical attention for a head injury. It appeared that the sole yachtsman had been struck by the boom of his yacht and knocked unconscious. The yacht had then drifted into the rocky area north of the Demie de Pas lighthouse where it had been seen by the fishing boat which had decided to investigate. 

As the St Helier inshore lifeboat crew were ready to launch they were tasked with attending the yacht. In view of the potential severity of the injury, the lifeboat was authorised to leave St Helier harbour at high speed. The lifeboat was on scene within several minutes where the crew assessed the casualty who was semi-conscious and barely coherent.

The yacht had already been rigged for a tow by the fishing boat and, in view of the casualty's reluctance to be moved and the risks involved in moving him, the decision was taken to leave him on the yacht, administer casualty care and monitor his condition, and proceed into St Helier harbour. 

The three boats proceeded to the visitor moorings in St Helier harbour where they were met by awaiting ambulance crew.

The St Helier inshore lifeboat returned to station where it was refuelled and prepared for its next service.



Helier de Veulle
Lifeboat Press Officer, St Catherine Lifeboat Station
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