Storm Freya arrived this weekend, bringing 60-knot winds and crashing waves all over the south coast. It also brought work for Dorset BASICS doctor SD05 in the form of a call-out to assist the RNLI in East Dorset.
The Swanage lifeboat had been scrambled after reports of 3 people in trouble in the water around Studland. The sea is at its coldest this time of year at around 8°C (46°F) - about the same as a cold lager. The storm force winds had churned up the sea in to a mass of crashing water and foam. Despite this, Dorset's BASICS medics were able to answer the call-out from South Western Ambulance Service. The fantastic volunteers from the RNLI effected a rescue in difficult conditions and were met at the ferry pier by SWAST paramedics the doctor.
This rescue is the 4th water-based one since SD05 first logged on in Dorset. Back in June they were tasked to assist SWAST with a trauma & submersion patient on Bournemouth beach. In July they answered a call-out to assist the RNLI with a patient pulled from the water in Poole Bay. September saw SD05 responding to a patient who had become critically ill in the sea near Christchurch. All these rescues were a huge team effort which saw BASICS working alongside the RNLI, Coastguard, SWAST ambulance crews and Dorset Police.
We'd like to make a special mention to the Coastguard teams and RNLI crews, who are all fellow volunteers and who all performed magnificently in some atrocious weather conditions.