Speed was of the essence for the Torbay RNLI crew volunteers today (Monday 11 July) after a fisherman fell from a quarry platform while angling.
The elderly man suffered a significant head injury and was still in the water when the crew of the inshore lifeboat arrived at the scene.
Fortunately a number of the RNLI volunteers were at the boathouse already, including Paramedic John Ashford. They immediately launched the D class inshore lifeboat, taking first aid equipment and a stretcher.
When the inshore lifeboat crew arrived at the scene they found a man in the water, bleeding heavily from a head wound and being cared for by the customers of a local angling boat who were leaning over the side to keep the man steady in the water. They had also attached a rope around the 72 year old man’s waist.
Volunteer RNLI crew member Sean Ingham was also fishing in a different part of the quarry this morning. He then realised the incident was unfolding in front of him and called the angling boat to the quarry platform from where he was able to climb aboard. He then helped the customers to keep the man safe in the water until the lifeboat arrived.
One of the RNLI crew volunteers immediately boarded the angling boat and with the help of the three in the inshore lifeboat, quickly got a stretcher under the man in the water. They then used the stretcher to scoop the man up and on to the lifeboat where he could start to receive vital treatment.
The decision was then made to airlift the man to hospital in Plymouth.