River rescue ‘community spirit at its finest’ - FS&R

Foyle Search and Rescue file image.
Foyle Search and Rescue file image.

Foyle Search & Rescue have issued advice to local people regarding the use of lifebuoys after praising the united response of local people to an emergency rescue mission yesterday.

The local charity said that a member of the public and an off-duty nurse had assisted the charity, Ambulance Service and PSNI crews in an incident on Monday morning.

FSR’s pager system was activated and on arrival, a member of the public had activated a lifebuoy to the person in the water. The PSNI were in attendance and the person was brought ashore. The person was assessed and administered treatment for cold water shock by an EMT/EFR from Foyle Search & Rescue, assisted by an off duty nurse, and later transported to hospital.

A FS&R spokesman said: “Foyle Search & Rescue appreciate the help of this person in rapidly deploying the lifebuoy and the ICU nurse who stopped to help. It was ‘community spirit at it’s finest.’

Issuing advice to local people, FSR advised yesterday: “Should a member of the public need to effect a rescue using one of the lifebuoys located along the River Foyle, they should aim the ring buoy to fall a short distance beyond the person in the water so that it can be pulled towards them. When the person in the water obtains a firm grip on the lifebuoy, they can be pulled slowly to the riverbank or edge. It is essential that the rescuer reassures and directs the person in the water throughout the rescue. Under NO circumstances should a member of the Public enter the water to effect a rescue. Always dial 999 in the event of an emergency.”

In a busy few days for FSR, the service’s crews removed a person in distress to safety in the early hours of Saturday morning with the PSNI, after a member of the public dialled 999, then gave assistance to the person.

At 4.30 pm the same day two off duty FS&R volunteers assisted a person who had fallen from a height, injuring themselves, aided by a member of the public. On Saturday night FS&R were tasked to reports that a vessel was in distress on the River Foyle and it was towed to safety.