UK: Plymouth-Based Frigate HMS Portland Goes to Help Injured Yachtsman

Plymouth-Basedd Frigate HMS Portland Goes to Help Injured Yachtsman

The Plymouth-based frigate HMS Portland responded to a Coastguard request earlier today to assist a casualty in a yacht in the English Channel 15 miles south-west of Portland Bill.

The ship was conducting training off the South West coast when she was alerted to the situation and quickly closed to help and support a Coastguard helicopter that was already on route to assist the casualty on board the yacht, Skean Dhu.

The sea state and accompanying swell meant that the Coastguard helicopter could not winch his rescue winchman directly onto the vessel. HMS Portland’s crew responded immediately and at short notice prepared the ship for Flying Stations so that the winchman could be landed onboard the frigate before being transferred by the ship’s rescue boat, along with the ship’s own paramedic.

The patient was stabilised but it quickly became apparent that a further medical assessment was required and a doctor was rushed to the scene by the Weymouth lifeboat. Again, HMS Portland’s rescue boat was used to conduct a transfer of personnel. HMS Portland remained on the spot throughout the rescue operation to provide communications and control between the Coastguard, lifeboat, rescue helicopter and yacht.

The Coastguard helicopter returned to the scene having refuelled at Lee on Solent and winched the injured man to safety. The Skean Dhu continued passage towards Brixham with the assistance of the Weymouth lifeboat, whilst HMS Portland recovered her rescue boat team and paramedic, all of whom had been instrumental in this coordinated rescue.

The frigate’s commanding officer, Cdr Mike Knott, said: “I am delighted that HMS Portland was able to assist in this successful rescue – our training and proficiency in boarding and helicopter operations helped ensure that a tricky situation was quickly and safely dealt with. We wish the injured man a safe and speedy recovery.”

This has been a busy time for HMS Portland who remains at sea conducting training serials and trials off the South West Coast.

Source: royalnavy, November 03, 2011