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Barry Dock RNLI volunteer delivers his own son

Lifeboats News Release

Chris White, a volunteer crew member at Barry Dock Lifeboat Station in South Wales, welcomed his second son into the world, delivering him in the front seat of his car on Friday 9 August 2019.

RNLI/Nicole White

Barry Dock crew member Chris White holding baby Noah at the Lifeboat Station
Chris White has been a crew member at Barry Dock Lifeboat Station for around two and a half years, whilst also working as an engineer for British Gas. Chris and his wife Nicole were excitedly anticipating the arrival of their second child, but they couldn’t have guessed how their son would enter the world.

Nicole’s contractions had started at around 10am on Friday 9 August, however after phoning the hospital, medical staff had decided that Nicole was far from ready to give birth. After this news, Nicole carried on with her day, until the contractions became more intense, and were hard to ignore. By around 12.30pm, Nicole was in quite a lot of pain and discomfort, so the couple decided to head for the hospital.

Whilst the couple were on route to the hospital, Nicole declared, ‘I need to push’, from the passenger seat of the car. This alarmed Chris, and he pulled over, parking the car across a driveway in a busy residential area.

Chris has completed Casualty Care training with the RNLI, which means that he is capable of dealing with certain injuries or illnesses, and that he can use various pieces of lifesaving equipment. However, delivering a child is something that Chris hasn’t faced before, so he dialled 999. The emergency services told him to check for signs of the baby’s head, which soon appeared.

Baby Noah was then born, straight into the arms of his delighted parents.

The nurse on the other end of the phone told Chris to cover Noah in a towel or blanket, but as there were none in the car, he took off his shirt and Noah was wrapped up in it. Chris was also advised to take off one of his shoelaces, to act as a clamp for the umbilical cord- but it was at this point that the paramedics arrived. They checked over mother and baby, and found that they were both safe and well, before they were taken to hospital for further checks.

Chris remembers: ‘The day had gone from calm to chaos. One minute we were being told to stay at home and relax, and the next Nicole was in labour in the front seat of the car.’

The couple had not expected such a speedy birth, especially because Nicole was in labour for thirty-six hours with her first son Reuben, who is now two years old.

After the couple shared the happy news with their friends and family, it was discovered that whilst Nicole was in labour in the parked car, people had unknowingly driven past, including Chris’ auntie and a work colleague.

Chris White said, ‘It was a truly incredible experience to have delivered my own son into the world, however it’s not a situation I’d like to be in again’.

Proud parents Chris and Nicole took their two young sons, Noah and Reuben, to Barry Dock Lifeboat Station on 13 August 2019 where they received a very warm welcome from the volunteers at the station.

RNLI media contacts:

Katie Lewis: Media Engagement Placement, Wales and West at katie_lewis@rnli.org.uk or alternatively contact Danielle Rush, Regional Media Manager on 07786668829 or at danielle_rush@rnli.org.uk

RNLI/Barry Dock Lifeboat Station

Chris, Nicole, Reuben and Noah at Barry Dock Lifeboat Station

RNLI/Nicole White

Baby Noah

Key facts about the RNLI

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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Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries

Members of the public may contact the RNLI on 0300 300 9990 (UK) or 1800 991802 (Ireland) or or by email.

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