Lyme Regis lifeboat crew and coastguard helicopter work together in major exercise

The coastguard helicopter and lifeboat crew work together (photo by Seb Cope)

LYME Regis lifeboat crew joined forces with the coastguard helicopter from St Athan in Wales for a major exercise on Sunday.

Eight volunteer members of the RNLI lifeboat crew took part in the hour-long exercise.

Lifeboat helm Murray Saunders said: “Such an exercise is very important because a helicopter is only called when a situation is critical and speed is of the essence in respect of any casualty we may have rescued and who may need hospital care..”

Fellow helm Seb Cope added: “It was a year since our last exercise with a helicopter so this was really useful.

“The helicopter winch-man, nicknamed Bear, was lowered to our boat and offered helpful advice to our trained helms and trainee helms alike. It was a very good training session.”

The last time a coastguard helicopter joined the Lyme Regis lifeboat on a serious rescue mission was on November 13 near the mouth of the River Axe when a fishing boat sank throwing three men into the water.

One man swam ashore but the other two floated on their backs and were found by the lifeboat crew and the helicopter.

One man was airlifted from the lifeboat and taken to hospital.

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