Several Burnham-On-Sea gig rowers were ‘rescued’ during a training exercise with lifeboat crews this week.

Burnham-On-Sea Gig Rowing Club and Burnham RNLI teamed up for the joint casualty extraction exercise, as pictured here.

“One gig crew member was deemed to have fallen overboard, but after recovery become very cold, verging on hypothermia, and the other had fallen in the boat, suffering from a suspected broken leg,” said an RNLI spokesman.

Both the Burnham lifeboats were launched to seek out the gig with the intent of extracting the two ‘casualties’.

“Once the gig was located, the lifeboats, Burnham Reach and Staines Whitfield, rafted alongside and prepared to deal with the casualties. This was good practice for the lifeboat volunteers, and equally useful for the gig crew who have never had to deal with an emergency.”

The ‘hypothermic’ gig member was brought in to the Sailing Club pontoons by the crew of the D-Class lifeboat Burnham Reach, whilst the crew of the Staines Whitfield dealt with the ‘casualty’ suffering a broken leg until they were also brought ashore.

Burnham RNLI Launch Authority Phil Counsell said: “With the increasing local popularity of gig racing, this was an ideal opportunity for our volunteers to become familiar with the craft and its characteristics.”

Gig Coxswain Mark Rennie added: “Our rowers received useful experience, and are more aware of lifeboat requirements if we ever require assistance.”

Pictured: This week’s exercise underway in Burnham (photos Mark Rennie, RNLI and

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