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Coasguard rescue teams must be able to help away from 'home' patch

By West Briton  |  Posted: December 12, 2013

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ALL the coastguard teams that are based around our coastline have areas that they are responsible for and where they will be tasked to incidents.

But sometimes they are required to work away from their own area, either because of the urgency of the search, the number of people that need rescuing, or to provide relief for a team that is involved in a prolonged search.

Fortunately, the teams are trained for and practice working together frequently, so when it comes to a real rescue they can work together easily.

On the evening of December 4 the Porthoustock and Mullion Coastguard Rescue Teams (CRT) were sent to an area around Cadgwith on the Lizard peninsula to assist in the search for a missing fisherman.

At approximately 7pm the Maritime Rescue Co-ordination Centre at Falmouth took a call reporting that a local fisherman had not returned from a fishing trip.

The missing fisherman was known to go fishing alone on his boat in the area between Black Head and the Lizard Point. The rescue centre tasked both the Porthoustock and Mullion CRTs so as to cover the area as quickly as possible. The coastguard sector manager, a full-time coastguard who is responsible for the training of the CRTs, was also tasked as he would be able to co-ordinate the searches that both teams were conducting, ensuring the area was covered as efficiently as possible.

The Lizard all-weather lifeboat was also tasked to conduct a search from the sea and two other local boats also responded to a radio broadcast requesting help with the search. The rescue helicopter, R193, from RNAS Culdrose was also tasked to assist.

After the search had been continuing for about an hour one of the local boats that was assisting located the fisherman in the water, being kept afloat by his lifejacket.

The Lizard lifeboat very quickly recovered him from the water and started immediate first aid until the R193 was able to winch him from the lifeboat and transfer him to Treliske hospital, Truro.

Unfortunately the fisherman was declared dead at hospital.

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