Emergency services were scrambled yesterday after a small open boat had been swamped at the North West end of Tresco and reports of people in the water and on the rocks.
The St Marys lifeboat was launched. Already on scene was the passenger vessel Osprey who was on a sight seeing trip at the time.
The skipper of the Osprey Andy Howells, an ex-coxswain of the St Mary’s Lifeboat initially saw the vessel, then lost sight of it and to his horror saw the vessel get swamped by a large groundswell close to the shoreline.
Using his years of instinct, skill and knowledge managed to make his way over to the scene and managed to pull one casualty from the water whilst the others were washed up against and onto the rocks and shoreline.
As soon as the lifeboat arrived on scene the casualty pulled from the water was transferred from the Osprey to be treated by trained casualty carers onboard the lifeboat.
The remaining three casualties up against the rocks were in distress and injured. The Tresco Coatgaurd Rescue Team (CRT) arrived on scene soon after and managed to get to the casualties and stabilised them.
At the this point the lifeboat advised MRCC Falmouth that the casualties ashore were under a high cliff and also due to the condition of the casualty on the lifeboat the best way of extraction was via helicopter to Treliske. The casusulty onboard the lifeboat was given oxygen, monitored and warmed up. At the same time the three casualties on shore were treated for their injuries and were prepared to be airlifted.
Once Helicopter R924 arrived at the scene the three casualties on shore were first airlifted and then the casualty onboard the lifeboat was airlifted from the lifeboat round the corner at New Grimsby Sound due to calmer sea conditions and all four casualties were flown staright Treliske Hospital in Truro for further treatment. At this point the lifeboat was released and returned to the station on St Marys.
The skipper of the Osprey was commended for his actions and pulling a casualty from the water so close to the shoreline. The report on the St Marys RNLI Lifeboat station stated “This in my opinion saved this persons life. All four are lucky to be alive”.
The report finished stating the “conditions in this area of Tresco were dangerous with a large heavy groundswell and a strong tide in the channel”.
The crew of the St Marys lifeboat were comprised of Pete Hicks, Kevin Sherris, Phil Roberts, Dan May, Andrew Hicks, Dan Moulson and Truan Hicks.