'Vital minutes' lost for Humber Rescue lifeboat after car blocks exit

A BMW was blocking the exit route for the lifeboat Credit: Humber Rescue

A volunteer lifeboat crew has issued a plea for the public to park responsibly, after a car blocking the station delayed a rescue callout.

Humber Rescue released a photo at the weekend of a white BMW parked in front of its base on Hessle Foreshore, Hull, as a tractor towing a lifeboat attempted to manoeuvre around it.

The charity, which provides rapid search and rescue operation across the Humber Estuary, said: "We cannot stress enough the importance of parking responsibly."It added: "This afternoon we had a vehicle parked in a position which delayed our response.

"As we experienced in an incident yesterday, those lost seconds can mean the difference in our rescue efforts."

The image shows the BMW parked in front of large red signage which reads "Keep clear – 24-hour access required at all times."

The charity said: "We have measures in place to prevent this irresponsible behaviour, but people choose to ignore the signs and markings."

In a post on Facebook, the charity said it had been contacted by the Humber Coastguard to reports of a person in the water in the River Humber on Sunday, 19 May.

It said the rescue crew's initial launch had been delayed by "a few vital minutes" due to the obstruction.

It said: "The crew made best speed to the reported location. We assisted the casualty out of the water and passed her into the care of the Yorkshire Ambulance Service.

The organisation said the delay "did not have a detrimental impact" but acts as "a stark reminder that outcomes in such critical situations can be very costly."

"Even on a warm day, being in the water for just a few minutes can have devastating consequences," it added.

The warning comes after the crew had a busy weekend in the warm weather.

On Saturday, 18 May, the organisation said it had been "an intense 24 hours" for the volunteers who had been "tasked three times" by Humber Coastguard.

"This morning our efforts were focused on a challenging multi agency search incident, which extended over 15 hours," it said.

"Despite exhaustive efforts, there are times we face the heavy reality that not all searches end with a rescue. These moments weigh heavily on us, but they also reinforce the critical importance of our mission."

Humber Rescue, is an independent charity which was established in 1989.

It covers an area 540km sq of waterways and has been recognised as one of the UK's busiest independent lifeboat station and the seventh busiest lifeboat station in 2023.

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