Pembrokeshire rescue operation

An RAF rescue helicopter, lifeboat crews and Royal Navy ship HMS Echo were all involved in a rescue operation in rough seas off the coast of Pembrokeshire. A Portuguese seaman was airlifted to hospital with serious injuries.

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Fisherman airlifted to hospital

A Portuguese fisherman has been airlifted to hospital, after suffering a head injury on board a boat off the Pembrokeshire coast.

The helicopter from RAF Chivenor was able to take the man to Morriston Hospital in Swansea, having earlier been forced to abandon rescue efforts due to rough seas and communication problems.

The wind was blowing at south easterly gale force 8 (39-46mph).

Royal Navy ship HMS Echo was nearby and helped in the operation, as did the Angle Lifeboat.

Due to the weather conditions, this was a challenging rescue for all involved.

It was made all the more difficult as those on board the fishing vessel couldn't speak English.

– Barrie Yelland, Watch Manager at Milford Haven Coastguard

Rescue operation for Portuguese seaman

  • At 11.53 this morning, Milford Haven Coastguard was alerted by the French authorities
  • A French fishing vessel was 30 miles west of St Ann's Head
  • A Portuguese seaman was on board with a serious head injury, and it was judged he needed to be taken off
  • Rescue helicopter 169 from RAF Chivenor spent an hour and a half on the scene, trying to get the seaman off, but couldn't because of rough seas
  • The language barrier was also a problem, as the crew can't speak any English
  • The helicopter has gone to refuel and will return once seas are calmer
  • HMS Echo was nearby and was contacted to provide shelter to calm the water
  • The vessel has continued to travel towards the mainland, and is now around 18 miles away
  • Angle Lifeboat is now close to the vessel - and hoping to get the injured seaman on board, so he can then be airlifted to safety


Warship involved in rescue off Pembrokeshire coast

Milford Haven Coastguard says an operation is underway to rescue a Portuguese seaman with serious head injuries in rough seas off the coast of Pembrokeshire.

Warship HMS Echo, which was passing nearby, is trying to provide shelter to calm the water so that the injured man can be winched to safety.

A rescue helicopter from RAF Chivenor and Angle Lifeboat are also involved in the rescue around 18 miles west of St Ann's Head.

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