An immobile fisherman from Hastings was saved by the RNLI Lifeboat along with the coastguard helicopter off coast of Fairlight on Friday night (March 11).
The volunteer crew spent six hours at sea trying to help the fishermen who had suffered a back injury.
The helicopter from Lydd was called due to the nature of his injuries and hovered for an hour and a half while the casualty was stabilised.
Prospective coxswain Mark Tewsberry said it was a ‘difficult’ operation but it is what they are trained for.
“It was a technically difficult operation involving the lifeboat, the fishing boat and of course the helicopter,” he said.
“The RNLI’s volunteer crews train with the coastguard helicopter for just these sort of scenarios, and it’s on nights like this all those hours of training begin to pay off.”
Hastings’ RNLI all-weather lifeboat was called to a fishing boat six miles off Fairlight at around 7pm and arrived some 40 minutes later.
Three of the lifeboat crew went aboard the fishing vessel and assessed the man, who was found to be immobile on the wheelhouse floor and in great pain.
It proved to be a difficult process both to stabilise the casualty, and manoeuvre him to a safe position for winching.
Concerns were raised as to whether the helicopter would have to return to Lydd to re-fuel in order to complete the evacuation.
Finally the casualty was lifted aboard the helicopter and, given the poor visibility at the Conquest Hospital, was taken back to the coastguard base at Lydd before being transferred to hospital.
The lifeboat returned to Hastings and was back on the beach by 1.30am on Saturday morning.
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