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RNLI Assist Olympic Sailing Spectators After Rock Fall

Weymouth rescue 8_credit RNLI Alice Beetlestone

12:57pm 10th August 2012
(Updated 12:58pm 10th August 2012)

RNLI crews raced to the aid of to two men yesterday (Thursday 10 August) who had fallen on rocks whilst watching the Olympic sailing events.

The charity’s inshore lifeboat, which was two miles away outside of sailing marshal zones, was tasked at 2.18pm to the rocky shoreline just below the Nothe ticketed site, which is free for spectators.

Three RNLI lifeboats attended the scene minutes later and provided vital first aid, as well as marshalling the crowds and securing the scene to enable a Coastguard helicopter to airlift the pair to hospital for further treatment.

Inshore lifeboat helm Karl Sargeant was first on scene, and was later joined by medical officer and paramedic Rod Wells who assessed the injuries to the men. One had sustained head injuries and the other injuries to his leg. They were taken to Dorchester Hospital for further treatment. 

Whilst the medical officer provided first aid, crew members Phil Taylor and Leon Weaver ushered the crowds to a safe distance and stabilised the boat during the airlift by the Coastguard helicopter.   

Yesterday’s sailing races at Portland, including the men’s 470 where Great Britain’s Luke Patience and Stuart Bithell who are hoping to clinch gold, were postponed due to a lack of wind. There were still a number of committee boats on the water assessing the wind conditions when the accident occurred.

The RNLI are providing safety cover during the Olympic sailing events in Weymouth and Portland, as well as providing lifeguards for the open water events at the Serpentine in Hyde Park.

Weymouth rescue 3_

Weymouth rescue 8

Andy Sargeant, Coxswain at Weymouth lifeboat station, said: “The RNLI have been busy all week providing safety cover for the Olympic sailing events, and yesterday’s incident highlights how quickly we were able to respond from our position outside the sailing zones. We would urge all spectators to take great care when walking on rocky shorelines and to enjoy the races from a safe distance.” 

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