10 July 2020, 8pm
By Tom Collins
Baltimore RNLI were called out to a medical evacuation earlier this evening from East Skeam Island off the coast of Baltimore, West Cork.
The volunteer lifeboat crew launched their all-weather lifeboat at 5.25pm, following a request from the Irish Coast Guard to provide medical assistance and evacuation to a teenage girl who had sustained injuries following a 30ft fall on East Skeam Island.
The Baltimore all-weather lifeboat arrived at East Skeam Island within 10 minutes of launching. A member of the public was already on the scene and the Schull Coast Guard Rigid Inflatable Boat (RIB) arrived shortly afterwards, followed by the Coast Guard helicopter Rescue 115. The casualty had fallen 30ft into a cave so the Schull Coast Guard RIB transferred two volunteer members of the Baltimore lifeboat crew, Emma Lupton and Jerry Smith, from the lifeboat to the cave. After assessing the situation, the girl was placed on a stretcher and removed from the cave by the lifeboat and Coast Guard crew. Extraction proved difficult as the cave was very narrow and there was a rising tide at the time. Once the casualty was safely transferred to the Coast Guard helicopter, the lifeboat then returned to the station in Baltimore at 7.18pm.
There were five volunteer crew onboard the lifeboat, Coxswain Kieran Cotter, Mechanic Cathal Cottrell and crew members Jerry Smith, Emma Lupton and Sean McCarthy. Conditions at sea during the call out were calm with a north easterly force 2-3 wind, no sea swell and very good visibility.
Speaking following the call out, Kate Callanan, Baltimore RNLI Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer said: ‘If you find yourself in need of medical assistance whilst at sea or on an island, call 999 or 112 and ask for the Coast Guard. We wish the casualty a full recovery.’
Key facts about the RNLI
The RNLI charity saves lives at sea. Its volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service around Ireland and the UK. The RNLI operates 46 lifeboat stations in Ireland. The RNLI is independent of government and depends on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824, the charity has saved over 142,700 lives.