November 20, 2016
Burnham-On-Sea lifeboat exercise sees 'rescue' from town lighthouse

Burnham-On-Sea's RNLI crew were put through their paces with a scenario-based training exercise this week that involved rescuing casualties from Burnham's lower lighthouse as the tide enveloped them.

The training was designed to test the skills of all the station's volunteers, and included a first aid incident as well.

The Launch Operations Manager received notification that for exercise purposes reports had been received of lights being spotted on Burnham's Lower Lighthouse and he was requested to launch the lifeboats to investigate.

This set in motion the lifeboat and shore crew members getting changed as quickly as possible into the necessary personal protective equipment, then marshalling traffic to enable the launch vehicles to be driven to the jetty.

The Beach Master, who is in charge of authorising launches at the water's edge and safety, had to deal with challenging conditions due to the high tide and waves on the jetty but a successful launch of the B class lifeboat was possible.

"However, due to a member of the shore crew (pretending) to fall and break their leg the D Class lifeboat 'Burnham Reach' was unable to launch from the jetty. So with quick thinking the Beach Master despatched them to the alternate launch site at the sailing club," said a spokesperson.

"The shore crew then had to deal with the first aid incident and had to use their recently refreshed first aid skills to fracture strap the casualty and get them into a stretcher to get them off the jetty."

"Meanwhile the lifeboat crews managed to get a crew member onto the lighthouse, with skillful boat handling, and on assessing the scene they discovered two cold casualties one of whom had a suspected broken leg."

"It was the turn for the boat crews to use their first aid skills and to work out how to safely evacuate the casualties. Once all training had been complete it was time for the lifeboats to be returned to station for a full wash down and a full debrief."

Pictured: Burnham Reach and lower lighthouse showing the D Class lifeboat Burnham Reach with the lower lighthouse behind


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