Tynemouth RNLI's volunteer crew rushed into action on Thursday morning after they were alerted to a potential disaster after the Shields ferry Spirit of the Tyne started sinking after a collision with a fuel tanker vessel in the river Tyne.Tynemouth RNLI’s volunteer crew rushed into action on Thursday morning after they were alerted to a potential disaster after the Shields ferry Spirit of the Tyne started sinking after a collision with a fuel tanker vessel in the river Tyne.

Thankfully there was no danger to anyone as the ’emergency’ was a carefully staged exercise planned by Nexus, operators of the ferry, and the Port of Tyne, designed to test emergency evacuation from the ferry and the environmental response to a major pollution incident.

Just before 10am the lifeboat station was notified of the incident and both the all weather and inshore lifeboats launched and travelled as fast as possible to the ‘stricken’ ferry, located just off Mill Dam, South Shields.  The oil tanker Lerrix was played by the Port of Tyne workboat Sir Bobby Robson.

Arriving on scene the lifeboat crews discovered that one person had fallen from the ferry but had been recovered by the Port of Tyne Pilot vessel Collingwood, but 23 passengers and crew had to be quickly evacuated from the ferry onto the all weather lifeboat. One of the passengers was injured and required evacuation by stretcher.

Three lifeboat crew members went aboard the ferry to assist with communicating with the lifeboat coxswain and to help the ferry crew, and the passengers and crew were quickly transferred onto the lifeboat. The injured passenger was simulated by a dummy but still received appropriate aid from the casualty care trained lifeboat volunteers.

Once all passengers and crew were accounted for on board the lifeboat they were taken to the nearby South Shields ferry landing and once on dry land the RNLI’s part in the exercise was over, leaving the Port of Tyne to continue with their pollution control and containment simulation.

The exercise was a success and helped all of the organisations involved to identify ways of improving the response to a real emergency on board the ferry.

 

 

 

http://www.tynemouth-lifeboat.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/0003.jpghttp://www.tynemouth-lifeboat.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/0003-300x300.jpgTynemouth RNLIFeaturedNewsall weather lifeboat,inshore lifeboat,nexus,port of tyne,Tynemouth RNLITynemouth RNLI's volunteer crew rushed into action on Thursday morning after they were alerted to a potential disaster after the Shields ferry Spirit of the Tyne started sinking after a collision with a fuel tanker vessel in the river Tyne. Thankfully there was no danger to anyone as the 'emergency' was...The RNLI is the charity that saves lives at sea