Monday, 19 November 2018

Crewman with crushed hand airlifted by SAR helicopter from the Newlyn netter, Ajax.

Once more the guys who man the helicopters that provide the SAR service around our coastline and do such a professional job no matter what the conditions.

Having gone through an SAR rescue situation many years ago with a similar injury to a crewman it still impresses when you appreciate that this entire operation is carried out with a minimum of communication between the helicopter and the boat - in my case I was reminded by the SAR navigator to "maintain my present course and speed". That was it. Such is the degree of professionalism and the training both SAR aircrews. (editor)

In this instance the young fisherman, Gary 'Hoody' Hood sustained a serious injury to his hand in the very rough sea conditions while shooting the nets away. Skipper Alan had quickly called the Coastguard asking for help just before 4am on Sunday 18 November.

Flying through gale force conditions in complete darkness, the Newquay Coastguard helicopter arrived on scene around 5.30am and winched the fisherman onboard, flying him directly to Derriford Hospital. 

At the time it looked like he might loose all four fingers and part of his hand. However, once surgery was started the surgeon managed to keep his ring and baby finger by moving them closer to his (thankfully) undamaged thumb. Linda Dwan, wife of skipper Alan said, "The surgeon said that the quality of first aid given before the helicopter arrived, had a huge say in how much of his hand they were able to save in the end, super proud of the crew for this, they all pulled together for him". Further treatment will be needed.

The helicopter crew - Capt Yogi Brunner, Co-Pilot Debdash Bhattacharya, Winch Operator Mark Stevens and Winchman Mark Hughes - praised the quick-thinking actions of the fishing vessel crew who had treated and bandaged their mate's hand before they had arrived on scene. We wish him a speedy recovery.

NB: Because of the heavy seas and gale force winds this rescue saw the helicopter crew deploy a 'high-line' in order to rescue the injured crewman from the Ajax. The MMO notice below outlines the correct procedure for the crew of any vessel involved in such a rescue.