Coastguard and lifeboat teams join forces for multi-casualty exercise at Dunstanburgh Castle

Emergency services came together for a multi-casualty exercise at Dunstanburgh Castle, near Craster.

Thursday, 23rd June 2022, 4:50 pm

The scenario was that two pleasure craft had collided just off Castle Point with eight people having entered the water as both boats sank. These casualties had made it to shore with various injuries and conditions.

Staff from English Heritage at Dunstanburgh Castle were first on scene and started initial first aid whilst other staff members awaited arrival of the emergency services.

Howick Coastguard Rescue Team were first on scene and were then backed up by Coastguard teams from Amble, Seahouses and Newbiggin and lifeboat crew from Craster and Seahouses.

A multi-agency exercise was staged by Coastguard and RNLI teams. Picture: Howick Coastgaurd

Teams were then deployed to assess and carry out treatment on the casualties and evacuate them from the rocky area beneath the castle.

Casualties were placed into Craster inshore lifeboat and either transferred to Seahouses all weather lifeboat or, depending on their condition, taken at speed direct to Craster harbour where hypothetical ambulances were waiting.

Just when the teams thought they had finished, one of the castle staff had been briefed to start complaining of chest pains so the teams then had a ninth casualty to deal with

Ian Woods, station officer at Howick Coastguard, said: “This was a large scale exercise with multiple operational scenes that required extremely close joint working between English Heritage, HM Coastguard and the RNLI.

Coastguard and lifeboat teams on exercise at Castle Point.

"The benefits of such exercises are huge and reinforce the link between all parties. Amazing amounts of effort put in by all taking part using all the skills we regularly train in. Thank you to all who took part and we look forward to the next one.”