Selsey Lifeboat Station - Launches

16th January 2019

Selsey RNLI All-Weather Lifeboat Assists with Medical Evacuation from Tanker

Lifeboat Lifeboat

UK Coastguard requested the launch of the Selsey all-weather Lifeboat to rendezvous with the 6,000-ton chemical tanker 'Ellen Essberger'.

The 'Ellen Essberger' had a crew member who required evacuation from the ship to a hospital. The ship had been in contact with a doctor via the UK Coastguard who advised evacuation by Lifeboat as the patient had been suffering chest pains for several hours.

Lifeboat Lifeboat

The Shannon class Lifeboat 'Denise and Eric' launched at 6.40 p.m. on Saturday 16th February and made best speed to the south-east of Selsey and rendezvoused approximately 10 miles off the coast at 7.07 p.m. The weather on scene was wind southerly force 3, sea state slight with a 2 metre swell. At 7.22 p.m. two Lifeboat crew members (one of which is a paramedic) were transferred to the ship to assess the casualty. After assessment the paramedic advised that he believed that the Philipino crewman was possibly still having a heart attack and that a transfer to the Lifeboat by stretcher would make his condition worse and so requested a helicopter lift.

Lifeboat Lifeboat

The helicopter Rescue 175 arrived on scene at 8.17 p.m. The helicopter tried unsuccessfully for 20 mins to winch the winchman/paramedic down before, at 8.42 p.m., this was completed using a hi-line transfer. After using a lot of fuel winching Rescue 175 returned to base to refuel while another assessment was made. Shortly after the winchman/paramedic joined the casualty he suffered a violent fit and became unresponsive. The helicopter returned at 9.50 p.m. but the winchman instructed the pilot that the casualty was now in a critical state and very agitated so would not be suitable for airlifting off. Both paramedics suspected the man had suffered a neurological event. The helicopter returned to base leaving the winchman aboard the ship.

A decision was made for the ship to head for the pilot station at the entrance to the Solent where a pilot was taken aboard the ship. The ship then proceeded into the Solent to a position south of Portsmouth Harbour where the ship came to a stop. The Lifeboat came alongside the 'Ellen Essberger' and at 1150 p.m. took off the helicopter winchman, two Lifeboat crew members and the casualty in a stretcher using the ship's companion ladder.

A course was set for the Camber Dock in Portsmouth Harbour where an ambulance was waiting with local Coastguard officers. The casualty was handed over to the ambulance crew at 12.15 a.m. Sunday. The winchman was taken back to his base by the local Coastguard team. The Lifeboat departed the Camber Dock at 12.41 a.m. to return to Selsey, arriving back at 1.53 a.m. The Lifeboat was washed down, refuelled and made ready for service by 2.50 a.m.

CREW: Martin Rudwick (Coxswain), Geoff Mellett (Mechanic), Max Gilligan, Will Moir, James Albrey and Terry Healey (Trainee).