New lifeboat saves fisherman hours after being launched

SPEEDY ... The new lifeboat springs into action
SPEEDY ... The new lifeboat springs into action

HARTLEPOOL’s newest lifeboat saved a man’s life just three hours after going into service.

The new Atlantic 85 inshore lifeboat was being put through its paces at the entrance to Hartlepool channel when a call for help was put out at 2.40pm Saturday.

The sea state was severe with a four meter swell and strong winds. The new inshore lifeboat responded well in testing conditions.

Darren Killck, volunteer helmsman

The Hartlepool RNLI volunteer crewmembers were then scrambled to help a fisherman who had been washed off South Gare pier into the sea.

The man was plucked from the water and given first aid before he was taken to James Cook hospital in Middlesbrough.

RNLI volunteer crewmember Clare Gibbin said: “We recovered the casualty from the water onto the Atlantic 85. He was in a semi conscious state and was suffering from the effects of the water and the cold. We administered initial first aid whilst taking the fisherman to the Harbourmasters office on the River Tees to be transferred to a waiting ambulance to be taken to James Cook hospital in Middlesbrough.”

Volunteer helmsman Darren Killick added: “The sea state was severe with a four meter swell and strong winds and the new inshore lifeboat responded well in testing conditions.”

The £214,000 lifeboat was funded by a gift left in the will of John Masters and was named Solihull after the place where he met his wife Barbara and spent much of his life.

During World War Two, Mr Masters served in the Royal Navy, rising to the rank of Lieutenant, and took part in the D Day landings. He died in 2011 at the age of 93.