Both Amble’s RNLI lifeboats were launched to rescue a four-crew ocean-going rowing boat which was in difficulty in stormy conditions yesterday (Saturday).
Battling against high winds and sea swells between one and two metres, one of the rowers became hypothermic and was drifting in and out of consciousness.
Humber Coastguard requested the help of Amble RNLI at 12.15pm, resulting in both lifeboats being launched. The inshore lifeboat Mildred Holcroft made contact with the rowing boat three-quarters-of-a-mile north of the harbour entrance – it was followed closely by Amble all-weather lifeboat Elizabeth and Leonard.
The sick rower was transferred to the inshore lifeboat then to the larger all-weather lifeboat for immediate transfer to Amble lifeboat station where first aid was applied, while waiting for an ambulance to arrive.
Meanwhile, the inshore lifeboat helped the remaining crew and began towing the boat to Amble.
After landing the casualty, the all-weather lifeboat returned to escort the inshore lifeboat and rowing boat safely to the harbour. The rower was transferred to the Northumbria Specialist Emergency Care Hospital at Cramlington.