Dramatic weekend for RNLI volunteer

By a County Press reporter

Wednesday, April 9, 2014


Dramatic weekend for RNLI volunteer

Cowes RNLI lifeboat crew member Andrea Vaughan.

A CREW member from an Isle of Wight RNLI lifeboat, on a two day stint as an observer with colleagues on the Thames, found herself called into action.

Cowes lifeboat crew member Andrea Vaughan believed she would just be an observer during her two 12-hour shifts at the floating Tower Station, near Waterloo Bridge, over the weekend.

Instead, after learning they were short of a volunteer crew member to supplement the two full-time crew members on duty, she agreed to step in.

Their first shout was at Golden Jubilee Bridge, early Saturday evening, where a young girl was threatening to jump into the river.

Although the police finally managed to stop her jumping, it was just the first of three similar incidents.

At 1.45am on Sunday the crew was called to Chelsea Bridge, where a man was threatening to jump, however was talked down by police.

Less than two hours later they were called back to Chelsea Bridge, when a man did jump into the river.

Andrea said: "The man, in his early 20s, was heavily built, but the helm, Kevin Maynard, and I finally managed to get him aboard, and wrap him in blankets."

After finally getting some sleep in a bunk aboard the floating station, Andrea became part of the RNLI team on Sunday, taking part in an exercise involving the fire brigade.

"The whole weekend was certainly much more than I expected, and the crew are very professional," said Andrea, who has been a volunteer with Cowes lifeboat for over two years.

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