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Air Rescue off the Pembrokeshire Coast


21st March 2012

Air Rescue off the Pembrokeshire Coast

Yesterday a Portuguese fisherman was airlifted to hospital, after suffering a head injury on board a boat off the Pembrokeshire coast.

A Search and Rescue Sea King helicopter from RAF Chivenor was able to take the man to Morriston Hospital in Swansea, having earlier been forced to abandon rescue efforts due to rough seas and communication problems.

The wind was blowing at south easterly gale force 8 (39-46mph). Royal Navy ship HMS Echo was nearby and helped in the operation, as did the Angle Lifeboat.

Due to the weather conditions, this was a challenging rescue for all involved.

It was made all the more difficult as those on board the fishing vessel couldn’t speak English.

Barrie Yelland, Watch Manager at Milford Haven Coastguard

  • At 11.53 this morning, Milford Haven Coastguard was alerted by the French authorities
  • A French fishing vessel was 30 miles west of St Ann’s Head
  • A Portuguese seaman was on board with a serious head injury, and it was judged he needed to be taken off
  • Rescue helicopter 169 from RAF Chivenor spent an hour and a half on the scene, trying to get the seaman off, but couldn’t because of rough seas
  • The language barrier was also a problem, as the crew can’t speak any English
  • The helicopter has gone to refuel and will return once seas are calmer
  • HMS Echo was nearby and was contacted to provide shelter to calm the water
  • The vessel has continued to travel towards the mainland, and is now around 18 miles away
  • Angle Lifeboat is now close to the vessel – and hoping to get the injured seaman on board, so he can then be airlifted to safety

Article by ITV Wales


Sea King, Haverfordwest by  Shaun Bowman-Davies

One of the SaR Sea kings from RAF Chivenor seen visting Haverfordwest in 2010
© 2013 Photo by Shaun Bowman-Davies – EGFEMovements.

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