Lifeboat, Coastguard and RAF Helicopter involved in rescue after man injured on yacht off Barry
A MAJOR rescue operation took place after a 74-year-old man suffered a serious head injury on board a yacht off the coast of Barry.
The Search and Rescue helicopter from RAF Chivenor airlifted the man, who also had suspected spinal injuries, from the Barry Dock Lifeboat to an ambulance that was waiting at Barry Island, last Friday (October 12).
Barry Coastguard had cleared the area for the helicopter to land near its station at Redbrink Crescent, and the man, from Machen near Caerphilly, was then taken to hospital.
The lifeboat had been launched at 11.40am, after a call from a 33ft yacht owned by a Cardiff-based sailing school with three people on board.
The man had been struck by the boom, near the Breaksea light in the Bristol Channel, and when lifeboat crew boarded they found he was semi-conscious. They gave him first aid on board, and brought the yacht in to Barry Harbour.
A Barry Coastguard spokesman said: “The yacht was escorted into the calm waters of the harbour by the lifeboat, and a paramedic was placed on board to assess and treat the man.
“After treatment, the paramedic considered it too risky to transport him by stretcher up the narrow steps from the dockside. The rescue helicopter from Chivenor was in the area and offered its services.
"Unfortunately the position of the yacht made it impossible to winch the man safely, so the casualty was transferred to the Lifeboat which then made its way out of the harbour.
"The helicopter can lift a casualty more easily if it is moving rather than still, so the lifeboat steamed up the Bristol Channel to aid the helicopter.
“With the casualty safely aboard the helicopter, he was then landed in front of the Coastguard station in Redbrink Crescent, before being transferred to a land ambulance for transport to UHW."
A spokesman for Barry Dock RNLI said: “The new pontoon played a pivotal role as it allowed for a much faster response, and also allowed the Ambulance Service better access to the patient.”
BARRY Coastguards have also dealt with three other recent incidents.
* On Wednesday (October 10) a 4ft dolphin, which had been dead for some time, washed up on Whitmore Bay. The Vale Council cleared the dolphin for proper disposal.
* The previous Tuesday, an elderly woman fell at the entrance to the promenade on Barry Island. An ambulance had been called, but the caller was told it would take over an hour, so the Coastguard were called. The team treated the woman and a Community First Responder also attended. Some time later the ambulance arrived and took the woman to UHW.
* The other incident was again in conjunction with Barry Dock Lifeboat, when a small vessel was pulled into the harbour after suffering fuel problems. The local owner was given suitable advice.