A PENSIONER has praised crew members from Barry Dock RNLI after they came to the aid of her friend who suffered a stroke at a café in Portishead.

Marie Saunders, 85, had met up with a friend at a café in Portishead Marina, but then her friend began to show signs of a stroke.

Fortunately, the RNLI crew from Barry Dock had been visiting the café while their lifeboat was undergoing routine maintenance work nearby. The team rushed over to the table to treat the man, aged 95.

“I know they are well trained for accidents at sea, but they knew exactly how to respond in this situation too,” said Ms Saunders. “I cannot begin to express how helpful they were, assessing the problem, calling 999, to obtain an ambulance while also ensuring that my friend and I were cared for. 

“In all, the crew spent about two hours supporting us.

“About 7pm that same evening, the phone went, and it was one of the crew members who I now know was Andrew just calling to see if I was okay.

“They were so concerned for my health and my care; they wanted to be completely assured that I was alright. I was so impressed and when they called how about that for over and above care.


“I heard later that my friend had received treatment within what they call ‘the golden hour’ which makes such difference to outcomes for stroke patients – all because of the prompt response of the RNLI.

“He was able to leave hospital that evening – his daughter collected him – he didn’t need to stay overnight.

“The RNLI’s volunteers are simply amazing and I wanted to take the time to say thank you and wish them all a very Merry Christmas as I know they’ll be on call throughout the festive period.”

Ms Saunders wrote to the RNLI to express her gratitude, and following some detective work by the technical team, it was found the three crew members who responded were RNLI volunteers Andrew Gavan, Dan Searjeant and Lisa Jones.

Barry And District News: RNLI volunteers Lisa Jones, Andrew Gavan and Dan Searjeant came to the aid of Marie Saunders' friend. Picture: RNLI.RNLI volunteers Lisa Jones, Andrew Gavan and Dan Searjeant came to the aid of Marie Saunders' friend. Picture: RNLI.

Mr Gavan, said: “The RNLI’s training is second to none and being able to help people whether on sea or dry land is what we do.

“It quickly became clear that Marie’s friend had suffered a stroke and we were able to assist until the paramedics arrived.

“I remember Marie being really shaken and we were all concerned about her being on her own.

“We’re so pleased she took the time to send us this message. All at Barry Dock RNLI wish her and her friend a very Merry Christmas.”