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Thursday, November 17, 2011

A lucky angler, a wonderful rescue success!

A freaque wave can be encountered at any place and at any time, when that happens rescue efforts are usually needed.  A rescue operation usually requires different elements all working together smoothly and successfully in very short notices -- therefore a prayer for all of them working flawlessly - a lucky factor, is certainly always needed.

This morning West Briton pened this well organized article in falmouthpeople.co.uk that's telling the recent story of a very lucky angler as the article clearly demonstrate the above contention.  First, what had happened:

A LEEDSTOWN angler who was washed off the rocks by a "freak wave" near Porthleven at the weekend has been discharged from hospital.
The man, who is thought to be in his 40s, was airlifted to the Royal Cornwall Hospital in Truro in a critical state on Sunday.
He was fishing off Rinsey Head when a giant wave washed him and his friend into the sea.

Now the local rescue effort sets in motion: 
On receiving a 999 call, Falmouth coastguard alerted RNAS Culdrose and the RNLI all-weather and inshore lifeboats from Penlee as well as Porthleven coastguard rescue team.
From the lifeboat side:
Penlee lifeboat coxswain Patrick Harvey said the second man managed to climb back onto the rocks and raised the alarm.
He said: "We were called out at 7.15pm. We tried to get there as quick as we could.
"On arrival the rescue helicopter was already there. They had managed to locate him but then lost the sight of him. He was wearing a fleece and it was pulling him under.
"But they got him onboard and was airlifted to hospital.
"He was very lucky, the sea conditions were poor and very choppy."
And from the aircrew - not a smooth start:
An aircrew from RNAS Culdrose's 771 search and rescue squadron pressed ahead with the rescue even though there was a problem with their helicopter's stability.
One of the pilots, Lieutenant Chris Whittington, told The Cornishman a minor "serviceability" problem had been identified with the Sea King helicopter after take-off from Culdrose.
This slightly affected the aircraft's stability but the crew – Lieutenant Whittington, Flight Lieutenant John Owen, aircraft commander Lieutenant Commander Simon Daw and aircrewman/paramedic Chief Petty Officer Dave Rigg – decided to press on.
Yes, they pressed on:
"We practice for this during routine training on a regular basis," Lieutenant Whittington said.
The crew also had to take into account the water temperature and the length of time the man had been in the sea – about 20 minutes at the time.
"We weighed up all the factors. Every minute counts in these situations.
"We weren't sure how long he had been in the water.
"We were confident it wouldn't stop us conducting the rescue."
He said another aircraft would have been available but it was quickly decided not to return to Culdrose for it.
Despite the time spent in the water, the man was still conscious when spotted by the helicopter.
He was winched on board and transferred to hospital
Now a lucky angler!
On Tuesday he was out of intensive care and said by the hospital to be progressing well.
Falmouth coastguard watch manager Andy Condy said: "This angler was very fortunate to be found in the water after dark and in rough seas.
"He was not wearing a lifejacket and so he was extremely lucky to have managed to stay afloat long enough to be spotted by rescuers.
"HM Coastguard recommends anglers can stay safe by wearing a life jacket."
Lieutenant Whittington said the operation had shown again the "excellent working relationship" between Culdrose, the coastguard and the South West Ambulance Trust.
Now please let us pray to the good Lord that every rescue effort can be as successful a happy ending as this one!

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