Injured Schoolboy 'Too Scared' For Helicopter Rescue

The rescue of a young boy with serious head injuries from a boat in the Solent was made more difficult when it transpired that a specialist Doctor was required, and that the boy was too scared to be transferred to hospital via helicopter.

At 10.56 on Saturday morning, the Island Sailing Club committee boat made a call to Solent Coastguard to report that an 11-year-old boy on board had sustained head injuries and needed medical attention. Solent Coastguard sent the Coastguard Helicopter to the scene, along with calling an ambulance to the landing site for Southampton Hospital, which was manned by Southampton Coastguard Rescue Team. Hamble Independent Lifeboat was also launched to standby the Committee boat and assist as required.

When the helicopter paramedic was winched onto the vessel it became apparent that the presence of the helicopter was frightening the young boy. The crewman, after checking the boy's condition, confirmed that it would be safe to transport him back to shore by sea, also requesting that a specialist head injury Doctor attend to assess the casualty. The helicopter then left to pick up the specialist Doctor from Lordshill in Southampton.

Hamble Independent Lifeboat escorted the committee vessel to Trinity Pontoon in Cowes. The boy was then transferred into the waiting ambulance and taken to St Mary's Hospital in Newport, where he was met by the specialist Doctor, brought to the hospital by Needles Coastguard vehicle from the nearby landing site.

Solent Coastguard Watch Manager Mike O'Sullivan said:

"Our priority in this incident was for the young boy to be safely taken to hospital, by whatever means and resource necessary. Although transfer via helicopter may have been quicker, the noise and mere presence of the helicopter was scaring the casualty and making his condition worsen and so, once it was established that he was in a stable condition, we coordinated several Coastguard teams, lifeboats and rescue boats in order to get him to hospital safely."