On Friday 29th September, our Man Overboard Procedure was put into real life practice, when a member of the public alerted our site team that a man had fallen into the River Hull.
The Engineering and Management team immediately reacted and checked the river following the initial alert. It was clear a man had fallen in adjacent to North Bridge and was floating downstream on his back, towards the Humber.
Radio communication was then used to call the safety boat (stationed 2.5km upstream) to head downstream and assist with the rescue, meanwhile alerting the emergency services.
The engineers then grabbed a life belt and proceeded down the river bank to try and assist the man, where they were joined by two PCSOs. After several attempts at throwing the lifebelt to the man, he was finally able to grab it, much to the relief of everyone as his condition was rapidly deteriorating, having swallowed a lot of river water.
He was then pulled to the river side, where he was kept afloat until the safety boat arrived (approximately six minutes after the initial alarm was raised).
The Safety Boat Operator and Slinger/Signaller were then able to pull alongside the man and lift him from the water to the safety boat, where he was placed in the recovery position and covered with warm clothing to preserve any remaining body heat and prevent further deterioration.
The PCSOs then liaised with the emergency services to agree a rendezvous point, two minutes further downstream, to recover the casualty from the boat.
I am pleased to report that the casualty is recovering and receiving treatment, highlighting the value of a well practiced Man Overboard procedure.