A lifeboat crew transported paramedics to Holy Island last night so they could treat an ill man.
North East Ambulance Service requested Coastguard assistance to deal with a 78-year-old man suffering from abdominal pains.
At 9.41pm, Humber Coastguard dispatched Holy Island Coastguard Rescue Team to provide casualty care and Seahouses Lifeboat to transport paramedics to Holy Island.
The lifeboat was quickly launched with their crew doctor aboard. The ambulance crew arrived promptly but as further information was received from another doctor on the scene at Holy Island, the ambulance crew were told to stand by, by their control, rather than go aboard the lifeboat
As the lifeboat doctor was aboard the lifeboat, it was decided to launch without the ambulance crew and make best speed to the island to save time, in case they were required. The passage takes 30 minutes. If they were not to be required subsequently, they could easily be cancelled.
At 10.20pm the lifeboat was stood down while on passage, by the Coastguard, following further information from the Ambulance Control Centre. Three minutes later, a further call reported the casualty’s condition was now deteriorating. The lifeboat turned around and continued back towards Holy Island.
On arrival, they were met by the local coastguard team, who transported the lifeboat doctor to the casualty’s location. The Lifeboat had to withdraw, due to the falling tide at Holy Island harbour. The casualty was stabilised, and an ambulance was then able to reach the island safely by road and transport the casualty to hospital
Holy Island Coastguard team then returned the lifeboat doctor to Seahouses by road once the causeway reopened.
This a normal procedure, agreed by a protocol between the North East Ambulance Service, UK Coastguard, and the RNLI, for situations when the causeway is closed by the tide. When the Seahouses Lifeboat Crew Doctor is available, he can supplement the ambulance response and carries his own medical equipment.