Whitesands RNLI lifeguards first on scene as plane ditches into the sea

Lifeboats News Release

RNLI lifeguards offered immediate assistance at Whitesands this afternoon when a light aircraft ditched into the sea, close to the shore

RNLI lifeguard Luke Evans, 23, was first on the scene, along with colleagues Noah Harvatt, 22, and 18-year-old Mylo Houston-Sime. 20-year-old Senior Lifeguard Matty McLeod took command of communications and alerted the Coastguard.

Luke said:

'I looked over and saw that the plane was only five metres from the water so it was obvious what was happening. We were the first responders and ran down to the scene with our trauma bag.

'The plane was sitting in very shallow water, and the wheel had come off, but the shell was intact. The pilot was badly shaken and had some facial and head injuries, but was still conscious and able to communicate.

'We assessed him and then were able to help him up the beach back to the lifeguard unit where we gave him oxygen and waited for the ambulance to arrive.

'The plane made quite a splash when it came down but luckily it was pretty quiet on the beach and in the water, so there were no injuries to anyone else.'

RNLI lifeguard supervisor Sam Trevor added:

'The team responded very quickly, all three are experienced lifeguards but you’re never sure what to expect from an incident like this.

'Mylo was actually off-duty but they all did a really professional job - it took a bit of courage to approach that scene, but the RNLI lifeguards at Whitesands were professional as always.'

St Davids inshore RNLI lifeboat was launched at 1.20pm to offer assistance during the multi-agency operation. The volunteer crew stood by and provided safety cover to colleagues from other emergency services.

The inshore lifeboat has now returned to station.

Media contacts

For further information please contact Danielle Rush, RNLI Regional Media Manager on 07786 668829, Jon Keighren, Regional Media Officer on 07776 009999 or the RNLI duty press officer on 01202 336789.

Notes to Editors

Please find attached j-peg images taken from the scene. Please credit RNLI/John Williams.

St Davids inshore RNLI lifeboat was launched at 1.20pm to offer assistance during the multi-agency operation.

RNLI/John Williams

St Davids inshore RNLI lifeboat was launched at 1.20pm to offer assistance during the multi-agency operation.
St Davids inshore RNLI lifeboat was launched at 1.20pm to offer assistance during the multi-agency operation.

RNLI/John Williams

St Davids inshore RNLI lifeboat was launched at 1.20pm to offer assistance during the multi-agency operation.
RNLI lifeguards were first responders

RNLI/Sam Trevor

RNLI lifeguards were first responders: L-R Mylo, Luke, Matty and Noah
Plane ditched yards from the shoreline

RNLI/Sam Trevor

Plane ditched yards from the shoreline

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The RNLI charity saves lives at sea. Its volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service around the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland coasts. The RNLI operates over 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and more than 240 lifeguard units on beaches around the UK and Channel Islands. The RNLI is independent of Coastguard and government and depends on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824, its lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved over 142,700 lives.

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