At 11.26hr on Saturday 11th June 2016, Humber Coastguard requested the launch of Seahouses Lifeboat to go to the assistance of a local charter vessel with a party of divers, off the Farne Islands. One female diver had made a rapid ascent, and was now ill and vomiting blood. A doctor who was among the dive party, was treating her, but further assistance was required. Both Seahouses Lifeboats were launched and went directly to the charter boat’s location.
The female diver was transferred to the All Weather Lifeboat on its arrival, and the lifeboat moved away from the Farne Islands, which can create a risk of bird strike to a helicopter. The diver was then further treated by the lifeboat crew. The nearest Rescue Helicopter had meanwhile been scrambled from its base at Prestwick. On arrival at the scene, the diver was winched aboard the helicopter from the lifeboat, together with the information about her dive, and she was flown directly to the decompression chamber at Hull as a precautionary measure. Her condition had improved considerably, on arrival of the helicopter.
Seahouses Lifeboat Operation Manager Ian Clayton commented “The Charter Boat Skipper called the Coastguard as soon as he was aware of the female diver’s condition. Time can be critical with diving related illness such as the bends. Prompt action can and does save lives. The entire operation was a textbook example of smooth co-operation between the Charter boat skipper, the Coastguard, the RNLI Lifeboat and the new Rescue helicopter. We hope the diver makes a full recovery, and suffers no long term effects from her experience.” Information was later received from Hull that the diver although poorly, was making satisfactory progress.