HEROIC lifeboat crews were involved in a dramatic double rescue mission.

West Mersea RNLI were initially tasked to ship paramedics to the remote Northey Island after reports a patient there was suffering from chest pains.

But as they sped towards the planned meeting point in Maldon shortly before 1.30pm on Tuesday, a second mayday call was issued.

There had been reports that a crew member on a boat off Osea Island had been hit by a falling boom and had suffered major head and neck injuries.

The control room at Dover Coastguard kept the Mersea volunteers on their original assignment and sent the Clacton lifeboat to the second incident

They were able to make it to the first casualty with the paramedics and the South Woodham Coastguard Rescue Team and dropped off the medics before heading to the other vessel.

Two crew members climbed on board and were helped by a doctor and paramedic who were nearby.

They then shipped a second paramedic team to the boat as the Clacton volunteers arrived.



A coastguard rescue helicopter was also spotted flying overheard, but as the patient was stable and concious the Clacton lifeboat crew were able to tow the boat back to Marconi Sailing Club where they were met by a waiting ambulance.

The Mersea crew then returned to their original mission in Northey Island, but were told the patient’s condition had got worse so they were being flown to hospital in an air ambulance.

They returned the paramedics to Maldon.

West Mersea’s lifeboat spokesman, Chris Lewis-Garnham, said “This was a fantastic effort from all the teams and volunteer crews showing how well all of our emergency services work together.

“When faced with life or death situations, our constant training, both as individual organisations and on joint training exercises, pays dividends when major incidents happen.

“We were very proud to be able to provide assistance today and we wish both casualties a speedy recovery.

“If you are in trouble at sea call 999 and ask for the coastguard.”