They may not have been needed when paged but the crew may have saved a life on shore.

Weston RNLI volunteers used the extensive first aid training provided by the charity to help an elderly lady who tripped on a kerb and may have seriously injured her hip.

The volunteer crew of Weston-super-Mare RNLI Lifeboat station were just settling down to their Saturday lunch when the pagers sounded. Swansea Coastguard had been told of a yacht in apparent difficulties near Brean Down in the Bristol Channel. It was drifting towards the rocks so the lifeboat crew assembled and prepared their D Class lifeboat for launching in Knightstone Harbour. Just as it was about to depart the coastguard reported that the yacht had started its engine and help was no longer required.

The crew returned the lifeboat to the temporary station and readied it for it next task. Just then they noticed that an elderly lady had fallen off the kerb on the hard standing near the boathouse. Several of the crew, including the lifeboat medical officer, Dr Mike Pimm, immediately ran over to give help. It was apparent that the 83 year old had badly hurt her hip, possibly a fracture. She was in shock, in extreme pain and very distressed.

The crew stayed with her for the next two hours despite the bitterly cold winds blowing in from the sea, until an ambulance was able to transfer her to hospital. They used their extensive Casualty Care training to provide her with warmth and shelter and reassurance. They also gave her fluids, oxygen and pain killers until the ambulance first responder arrived. Some time later an ambulance arrived to take her to Weston General Hospital.

Brian Ward, Deputy Launching Authority said; ‘If the crew had not been there it is very likely that there would have been a real danger to the lady’s survival. She was in such a poor condition that a member of the public might not have been able to provide the necessary warmth and comfort. ‘

Dr Mike Pimm said; ‘I am very proud of the crew. If this lady has broken her hip this is a very serious problem at her age. The actions of the crew, as well as making her feel better, have given her a much better chance of a favourable outcome.’

Posted in RNLI.