Incident at St.Mary's Island, August 2006, Picture Courtsey of Adrian Don




Initial Response Team Calls - 98        Backup Response Team Calls  - 5

098/02 - 22nd November 14.35h IRT

The Brigade were paged to attend the RVI landing site to prepare for the RAF Sea King, which was inbound with a ferry passenger airlifted with chest pains. 

097/02 - 16th November 18.06h IRT

Humber Coastguard paged the TVLB to investigate a report of a 13 foot long boat that was drifting, with its engine running, down the Tyne. The person who called Coastguard had managed to jump aboard the boat, and tried to steer it towards the shore before being rescued by Tynemouth lifeboat. The ILB then returned the boat to its moorings.

096/02 - 3rd November 13.35h IRT

Humber Coastguard paged the Brigade and Cullercoats Lifeboat after a jet ski was seen in difficulties in rough seas off Cullercoats Bay. Two people were rescued from the water as their jet ski was thrown by the waves onto the top of the north pier. A second jet ski was reported as missing, and the TVLB, the lifeboat and Sea King 131 were tasked to search for it. Sunderland Auxiliary Coastguard located the missing craft at South Shields with engine failure, and Tynemouth VLB suggested that they travel to South Shields to collect the owner, taking him back to Cullercoats to retrieve his car and trailer. The owner of the jet ski declined the offer as he had managed to re-start his craft and wanted to head back out to sea, and to the Bay by himself. Despite the concerns of the rescue team, he returned by sea in rough and dangerous conditions, watched from the shore by the TVLB.

095/02 - 27th October 08.40h IRT

The Brigade were paged by HM Coastguard to investigate a report that there was a person being pulled from the sea at the north end of Tynemouth Longsands. On arrival it was found that the casualty had already been taken to hospital for treatment.

094/02 - 25th October 00.30h IRT

Humber Coastguard received a request from a Paramedic crew who were on their way to an incident at the base of the sea wall in Whitley Bay. A man had fallen from the promenade to the rocks below, about 30 to 40 feet, and sustained serious open fracture leg injuries. The TVLB and members of Cullercoats lifeboat crew who also attended, assisted the paramedics in taking the casualty off the rocks and to the waiting ambulance.

093/02 - 6th October 22.00h IRT

The RAF contacted Humber Coastguard, informing them that Sea King 'Rescue 131' was about to a road traffic incident just south of Berwick on the Scottish border, and that they would require the RVI landing site to be manned. A car had crashed at over 50 miles per hour into a stone wall, and the front seat passenger had been seriously injured. The man in his 20's had sustained severe head and face injuries, as well as a fractured femur, and a possibly broken pelvis. The landing site was cleared by the TVLB, and the casualty carried from the helicopter to the ambulance. The Brigade then followed the ambulance to the hospital ready to transport the members of the flight crew, the Paramedic from Berwick, and their equipment back to the aircraft.

092/02 - 1st October 12.00h IRT

The TVLB were called by Coastguard to attend an incident at King Edwards Bay, where some youths had been reported as cut off by the tide. They made their own way off, but were spoken to by the police about the risks they had taken.

091/02 - 28th September 05.00h IRT

After a hotel staff member reported a scream and loud splash from the Tyne Bridge, the TVLB, Tynemouth Lifeboat, Fire Brigade, Fire boat, Police helicopter and Paramedics were tasked to begin a search of the river. After 2 hours of extensive searching from the land and on the river, all teams were stood down.

090/02 - 28th September 20.40h IRT

A member of the public spotted what they thought was a red flare at sea near St. Mary's lighthouse. The TVLB and Blyth Auxiliary Coastguard were paged to search the area and interview members of the public to see if anything had been seen. Blyth ACG spoke to a woman at a nearby caravan park who also said that she had seen what was possibly a red flare. Blyth Lifeboat was then tasked to begin a search of the area, but after 3 hours all teams were released and stood down with nothing found.

089/02 - 24th September 22.10h IRT

The Tynemouth VLB were called to again attend the landing site in Newcastle and meet the RAF helicopter, which was in the process of transporting an oil rig worker who had had a suspected heart attack.

088/02 - 19th September 16.13h IRT

Paged after a call to Humber Coastguard from Tynemouth Life Boat DLA who had seen a boy up to his waist in water at St. Mary's island trying to cross the causeway. This is an extremely dangerous activity, as when the tide is coming in or going out, there is a very strong undertow, which can sweep away persons legs and take them out to sea.

087/02 - 19th September 0.09h IRT

Called to assist Rescue Helicopter 131 at RVI Helicopter Landing Site, which was transporting a man with a suspected heart problem from an oilrig in the North Sea. The TVLB used their vehicle to transport the man off the field to the waiting ambulance.

086/02 - 18th September 20.15h IRT

Paged by Coastguard at the request of the police, who were on scene at the High Level bridge in Newcastle, where a drunk man was threatening to jump in to the Tyne. Tynemouth Inshore Lifeboat were also paged to attend the scene to recover the man if he did jump, or in his condition, fall. The man finally decided to come down, and as the High Level is a rail bridge, he was handed into the custody of the Transport Police

085/02 - 15th September 16.00h IRT

Paged by Humber Coastguard to attend the helicopter landing site where a man was being airlifted after falling and injuring himself at the base of cliffs in South Shields. He was pulled over by his dog onto rocks, and sustained back, head, arm and leg injuries. South Shields VLB were on scene and used their cliff gear to reach the casualty, before transporting him to the RAF Sea King helicopter for med-evac. At the RVI landing site, the TVLB assisted in transferring the man from the helicopter to the waiting ambulance, and then transported the RAF crewman who had gone to the hospital with him, back to the aircraft.

084/02 - 8th September 14.50h IRT

While attending the Blessing of the Fleet ceremony at the North Shields Fish Quay, the Brigadesmen were alerted to a man who had collapsed. The TVLB requested a Paramedic unit via Humber Coastguard, and assessed the man and kept him safe while he regained consciousness. While waiting for the ambulance, the man recovered, and decided against the advice of the TVLB to go home with his wife, and the Ambulance was stood down.

083/02 - 8th September 13.30h IRT

A Police CCTV unit in Whitley Bay reported six children possibly trapped by the tide on rocks, and that they could be in danger. The TVLB went to the scene, and met with members of the North Sea Volunteer Lifeguards, who were at their HQ for training, and had rushed to assist after hearing the radio traffic. Cullercoats Lifeboat were also tasked to the scene, but stood down after it was seen that the boys had made their way to the shore.  

082/02 - 8th September 12.00h IRT

Paged by Coastguard after a report of a sailboat that had collided with the Millennium Bridge in Newcastle and lost its mast. It was then drifting down the river, and causing a hazard to other shipping. The TVLB mobile were quickly stood down, as one of the District officers from Coastguard was still in the area after 'Trident' and was able to deal with the incident.

081/02 - 8th September 10.20h  IRT + BRT

The TVLB were paged after reports were received that the North Shields ferry and a dredger had collided on the Tyne, and that both boats were on fire. The Backup Response Team was quickly tasked to assist. This was the scenario for 'Operation Trident' a large-scale simulation organised by the Port of Tyne Authority to test, and assess the ability of the emergency services in the event of a major incident. The rescue services present were the Police and Police Helicopter, the Fire Brigade, Fire Boat, Tynemouth Lifeboat, South Shields VLB, Sunderland Auxiliary Coastguard, and the Red Seal Rescue team. The operation went well, with all teams working together to rescue the casualties. There were some small problems found during the exercise, which have since been addressed during a debriefing at Port of Tyne control.

080/02 - 2nd September 00.09h IRT

Paged by Humber Coastguard after a member of the public reported a large swan off Sharpness point heading toward King Edwards Bay in Tynemouth. On arrival the first member of the Initial Response Team confirmed that there was an 8-foot long swan making steady progress 300 yards offshore. The swan was a pedal driven pleasure craft, which usually stays at Tynemouth Boating Lake that had been carried down to the Longsands, and pedaled to the Bay. Photos of this rescue can found by clicking HERE.

07901 - 31st August 19.40 IRT

On the way back to the Watchouse, the TVLB vehicle was asked to investigate a report of a broken down boat south of the Tyne piers. It was suspected that this call was a hoax, and the lifeboat was not tasked. No vessel was seen, and the Brigade returned to station.

078/02 - 31st August 19.00h IRT

The fire brigade control room contacted Coastguard after they received a call to the cliffs at Cullercoats where two boys were reportedly stuck. On arrival it was found that they had made their own way up when the police arrived, and the police took both home after being warned about wasting the emergency services time.

077/02 - 24th August 16.39h IRT

The skipper of a 32 foot sail boat rang Coastguard requesting assistance, as his engine had failed, and he was unable to catch enough wind behind the south pier and was drifting towards it. Tynemouth lifeboat was tasked, and the TVLB directed them to the casualty vessel in the area. They finally took the stricken boat under tow, and returned her to her berth. 

076/02 - 17th August 23.00h IRT

Called by Humber coastguard to investigate a red flare sighted in the local area. The call alerting them to this flare was from Newbiggin, north of Blyth, and Blyth auxiliary coastguard were also called to search. The RAF helicopter was tasked to begin a radar search of the seas, but nothing was found. The teams were finally stood down after nearly 2 hours of searching.

075/02 - 16th August 17.40h IRT

As the Brigade was packing away the search equipment from the previous job, coastguard informed them of an incident on Whitley Bay beach. On arrival at the scene, the lifeguards were dealing with a drunken 17 year old that had been reportedly attacked, and was suffering from what looked to be severe head injuries and possible neck injuries. The TVLB vehicle was sent to meet the paramedics, and transport them with their equipment over the sand to the casualty. All through the incident he was becoming more abusive and un-cooperative, and after being checked by the paramedics he refused to be taken to hospital, and was finally left to make his own way home in the care of his equally drunk friend.

074/02 - 16th August 16.37h IRT + BRT

Still on patrol, the TVLB were asked by the police to assist with a search of the Seaton Sluice area for a missing child, and the Backup Response Team were called. Humber CG also paged Blyth Coastguard SAR team, and the search teams began to look for the 8-year-old boy, who had been missing since 11am. One of the police dog handler units finally found the child playing in a disused lifeguard station by the beach, safe and well.

073/02 - 16th August 12.50h IRT

While out in local patrol, the TVLB vehicle was asked to proceed to the rocks south of Marconi point, and assist the lifeguards with a woman out with her husband and grandchildren, that had fallen and broken her ankle. The initial response team were paged to help lift the casualty to the waiting ambulance. As she was in a lot of pain, it was decided to place her in the Paraguard stretcher, and carry her off the rocks.

072/02 - 15th August 13.54h IRT

Paged by Coastguard to proceed to Cullercoats bay to assist the lifeguards with a man who was having a fit on the beach. The TVLB arrived and helped the lifeguards with the casualty until the paramedics arrived. 

071/02 - 13th August 13.54h IRT

The initial response team were paged after the Cullercoats beach lifeguards requested an ambulance to attend to a 13-year-old boy that had fallen over 25feet off the north pier. He had stepped back while fishing, and landed on railings below, sustaining a dislocated shoulder, and facial injuries. The TVLB members assisted the lifeguards with controlling the public as the air ambulance landed, then helped to carry him to the aircraft.

070/02 - 13th August 14.40h IRT

A small boat was reported as broken down off Sharpness Point, and the TVLB were asked to locate it from the land and direct the lifeboat. Cullercoats Inshore Lifeboat took the craft under tow to their berth in South Shields.

069/02 - 8th August 19.40h IRT

Called by Police via HM Coastguard to a report of an oil slick off Sharpness Point, on arrival discovered only patterns on the sea surface.

068/02 - 7th August 20.30h IRT

Paged by HM Coastguard to help after the police reported four youths stuck on the rocks under Penbal Crag (Priory Cliffs). With the assistance of the TVLB and police officers, the teenagers made their way off the rocks, and the safety issues were discussed with them. Cullercoats Lifeboat was also on hand, as the tide was on the way in, and could have easily cut them off.

067/02 - 3rd August 20.05h IRT

Called by HM Coastguard to investigate reports of a canoeist in difficulties off the Black Middens rocks. Tynemouth Inshore Life Boat was also tasked.  TVLB member guided the ILB to the canoeist position and two persons were safely recovered.

066/02 - 29th July 07.05h IRT

HM Coastguard paged the TVLB after receiving a radio message from the Cullercoats Beach Patrol lifeguards requesting an ambulance respond to an incident in the bay. An eight-year-old boy had severely cut his foot, and HMCG tasked the TVLB to attend and assist, as well as keep them informed of the incident. The lifeguards on scene administered medical aid, and he was taken to North Tyneside General Hospital for further treatment.

065/02 - 25th July 21.48h IRT

The Tynemouth Volunteer Life Brigade were paged to search east of the harbour alongside Cullercoats lifeboat after a resident on Beverly Terrace spotted a flashing light at sea. The lifeboat made contact with a 16-foot private fishing boat with four persons on board, and found that they were having engine difficulties, and that their gas powered light that had been seen as the boat rolled in the waves. Cullercoats ILB towed the broken down boat back to the harbour, where it was met by the TVLB. The owner of the boat was advised that proper lights and the wearing of lifejackets would be safer when out at sea in darkness.

064/02 - 21st July 19.25h IRT

Requested by Coastguard to attend an incident near Watts slope in Whitley Bay, where an overturned dingy was drifting offshore. The two people that were hanging onto the boat managed to right it and paddle back to the shore, under the watchful eye of the TVLB and Cullercoats lifeboat.

063/02 - 21st July 16.57h IRT

A speedboat was reported stuck on mudflats upriver next to the Newcastle business park, and the Tynemouth VLB mobile was tasked to attend. On arrival it was found that the boat had become stuck after avoiding jet-skiers on the river. The fire brigade, who were also on scene passed a line to the two crew of the boat, and hauled them to shore.

062/02 - 17th July 16.57h IRT

The brigade was paged by HM Coastguard to attend an incident on the river Tyne beside the Newcastle Business Park. It had been reported that two youths were in trouble in the river. Upon arriving the brigade members met the Marine division of the police who informed them that it was a false alarm but with good intent, the first informant had mistaken people on jet ski's as people in difficulty. The Fire Brigade was also in attendance with their fire tender boat.

061/02 - 14th July 15.25h IRT

A woman had fallen on the rocks to the North of Cullercoats Pier, the Brigade and Paramedics attended at the request of the Beach Lifeguards and the woman was put into scoop and carried to awaiting Ambulance. Police also attended.

060/02 - 14th July 09.07h IRT

Humber coastguard requested that the TVLB meet the Fair Catch, a 30foot long boat that was being towed into the Tyne by Tynemouth lifeboat. A fire had started onboard, and as well as the Tynemouth boat, Cullercoats ILB and the Police boat were in attendance. The fire brigade was also on the quayside to meet with the vessel, to put out the fire that had started in the engine and spread to the electrical system. Once the boat was made safe, all teams stood down.

059/02 - 12th July 21.07h IRT

A member of the public in Cullercoats reported seeing an upturned boat offshore. Cullercoats lifeboat and the TVLB were paged and sent to begin a search. Members of Sunderland coastguard that were in the area were also sent to assist. Nothing was found, and all teams were stood down, with the call-out being classified as a false alarm with good intent.

058/02 - 6th July 10.55h IRT

While on standby at Cullercoats Bay, the TVLB were sent to the Freeman hospital helicopter-landing site, where the Sea King rescue helicopter from RAF Boulmer was due to land at 11.15h. The aircraft was transporting a baby from the midlands

057/02 - 29th June 13.20h IRT

Coastguard were alerted to a yacht 1.5 miles north east of the mouth of the Tyne that was taking on water. Tynemouth lifeboat was launched to the casualty vessel, and members of the crew boarded it with water pumps. The yacht was escorted into the safety of the river, and to a safe berth. 

056/02 - 9th June 17.20 IRT

Called to St Mary’s island to look for a boat that had broken down. It was located and towed to shore by Cullercoats ILB. The TVLB stood down mid tow and returned to station.

055/02 - 9th June 13.05h IRT

A member of the public at the Spanish Battery spotted a yacht that had capsized between the piers, and called Coastguard to report it. Tynemouth inshore lifeboat was paged to assist them, and the TVLB were called to locate the boat from the higher land. After speaking to the Red Seal Rescue boat, which was in the area, and one of the rescue craft from Tynemouth Boat Club, the casualty vessel was found, and was being towed by the TBC craft. Tynemouth ILB sat alongside while the Red Seal team righted the yacht. Once safely ashore, the TVLB took details for both Coastguard and the Lifeboat crew.

054/02 - 8th June 00.30h IRT

As Humber Coastguard were in the middle of a large scale search further down the coastline, a member of the TVLB was telephones rather than paged, to arrange a team to head to the Millennium bridge in Newcastle, where a man had jumped into the water from the Gateshead side of the river. Tynemouth inshore lifeboat crew was also tasked to this incident, and began to muster at their boathouse. Shortly afterwards, Humber CG phoned again to inform the teams that the person had been recovered from the water, and that we were to stand down.

053/02 - 5th June 16.35h IRT

A  member of the public reported seeing what they thought was a divers arm waving from the water off Cullercoats Bay. Both the Tynemouth VLB and the lifeguards were asked to investigate. It was found to be a marker buoy used by local fishermen.

052/02 - 4th June 16.55h  IRT

The TVLB were called on the request of the Lifeguards at Cullercoats Bay, to assist with the transport of a woman who had fallen on rocks. On arrival the Brigadesmen agreed with the lifeguards assessment of a possible broken ankle, and placed the casualty onto the Paraguard stretcher, before carrying her to the Landrover, which was used to transport her to the local hospital A&E department. The North Tyneside Council lifeguards and TVLB have quite a close working relationship, and we regularly stop in to the various beach bases while out on patrol. After they recently became a declared facility with Coastguard, the lifeguards are able to call for assistance from the Brigade, and we are able to request their help while out on patrol.

051/02 - 4th June 15.52h IRT

The Brigade were paged by Coastguard to stand watch on the Spanish Battery, as Tynemouth Lifeboat had been paged to rescue a private boat that had broken down. The craft, with seven people on board, had a broken fuel line, and was drifting north of the piers towards the rocks in King Edwards Bay. Once the lifeboat had attached a line, the casualty was towed to the Royal Quays Marina to make repairs, before it could continue upriver to their berth.

050/02 - 1st June 17.20h IRT

Tynemouth lifeboat were tasked to assist a private fishing vessel that had broken down a mile north east of the Tyne. The TVLB were asked to keep watch on the tow until the two boats entered the Tyne, and the casualty vessel was safe.

049/02 - 26th May 01.30h IRT

Tynemouth Volunteer Life Brigade were paged alongside Tynemouth Inshore Lifeboat, to attend an incident at the Swing Bridge in Newcastle. Two persons were reported as in the water and in difficulty. Just as the TVLB arrived on scene, the police helicopter informed them that the casualties had been recovered by the fire brigade, and were with the paramedics on scene.

048/02 - 24th May 11.50h IRT

Humber Coastguard requested that the TVLB investigate an EPIRB (Electronic Personal Indicator Radio Beacon) activation, The ship was docked in North Shields, and the team went aboard to take the model and serial number from the beacon to pass on to Coastguard for confirmation. These beacons, when activated, send a signal that are picked up by satellites, and can be used by rescue teams to find the casualty vessel.

047/02 - 23rd May 22.30h IRT

The Brigade were again paged to attend an incident in Newcastle, this time of a report of a woman threatening to jump from the Tyne Bridge. As the team radioed Coastguard that the vehicle was leaving the station, they were informed that it was a malicious hoax. 

046/02 - 23rd May 20.55h IRT

Northumbria Police alerted Coastguard to an incident, again at the high level bridge, where a man had jumped into the river. Tynemouth Volunteer Life Brigade and Tynemouth Inshore lifeboat were paged to attend, but were stood down shortly after, as the casualty was recovered from the water. Both teams returned to station and closed down. 

045/02 - 20th May 21.27h IRT

Humber Coastguard paged the TVLB, and requested that an observation and communications team attend an incident on the High Level Road and Rail Bridge in Newcastle. Northumbria police were attending an incident, where a man in his twenties had climbed onto the bridge and was threatening to jump. The Fire Brigade were in attendance both with appliances and their marine division, and Tynemouth Inshore Lifeboat were on stand-by. Police negotiators finally managed to persuade the man to come down at 23.45h.

044/02 - 18th May 10.46h IRT

After receiving a 999 call from a member of the public reporting a sinking boat, the Tynemouth Volunteer Life Brigade, Blyth Lifeboat and Sea king 131 were tasked to begin a search of the area East of St Marys Island. Three other people also reported that they had possibly seen the boat, and the search was narrowed down to a more specific area. Blyth lifeboat contacted a local fishing craft in the area, which stated that they were the only vessel there, and after an extensive air, sea and land search, all the teams were released to station at 12.05h

043/02 - 15th May 20.10h IRT

While leaving the watchouse on a local patrol, the vehicle stopped at a road traffic accident. A car had knocked down a teenager as she was crossing the road, near to the Priory in Tynemouth. The TVLB radioed Humber Coastguard to request that paramedics and police attend. The TVLB members assessed the casualty’s injuries, and reassured her until the paramedics arrived. She was taken to hospital, and the TVLB mobile continued on patrol.

042/02 - 12th May 21.00h IRT

During the return journey to the Watchouse, a speedboat was spotted aground in King Edwards Bay. The coastguard was informed, and the Brigadesmen investigated. The owner was waiting for a higher tide before a friend planned to tow the boat back to their berth. The TVLB returned to station

041/02 - 12th May 20.40h IRT

Humber coastguard requested that the TVLB investigate a report of a minibus that had become trapped on the beach at Cullercoats. On arrival it was found that as the driver was unable to turn around on the ramp to the beach, he drove onto the sand to turn there. The new Brigade Landrover was used to drag the vehicle out onto the firm sand, and helped back onto the tarmac.

040/02 - 5th May 21.15h IRT

A small speedboat was reported as without power and drifting down the Tyne, towards the Millennium bridge. The Tynemouth Volunteer Life Brigade, and Tynemouth Inshore Lifeboat were paged to attend the incident. On arrival, the TVLB located the craft, where the passengers were holding it against the side of the river, and then directed the lifeboat to it for rescue. They were then taken under tow to their berth. The Brigade and ILB returned to station.

039/02 - 30th April xx.xx IRT

Cullercoats Lifeboat were sent back out to sea almost as soon as they had returned to station, to assist a yacht that had broken down, and tow it to safety. The TVLB Landrover was sent to meet them to check the condition of the crew, and take details.

038/02 - 30th April 17.05h IRT

A man was reported as trapped by the tide on rocks at Sharpness point in Cullercoats, and Coastguard paged both the TVLB and Cullercoats Lifeboat to attend. On arrival it was found that he had waded through the water, and was safe ashore. Both rescue teams then stood down.

037/02 - 27th April 04.30h IRT + BRT

Humber Coastguard were alerted by the police of a possible incident on the north Tyne pier, where a young man had threatened suicide to a taxi driver taking him there. He had made the same threats to his parents, who had alerted the police.The Backup Response Team was called out, with the intention of beginning a full search of the area. The police helicopter was also on scene, and was using its search lamp to illuminate the pier. The police on the pier found the man, and he was taken into custody for his safety. The brigade managed a search team of 12, with another 7 stood down before they left their homes. Not too bad for such an early hour!

036/02 - 26th April 19.25h IRT

Newcastle police requested that the TVLB and Tynemouth Inshore Lifeboat attend an incident at the Redheugh Bridge crossing the Tyne.  A man in his 30s was outside the railings, and threatening to jump. The police and fire brigade were already on scene, and an officer was talking to the man, with a safety line attached to him controlled by members of the Fire Brigades line rescue team. The TVLB were asked to watch the scene, and task the Lifeboat immediately if required. At 20.20h the man was finally persuaded to climb back over the barrier to safety, and was taken into police care.

035/02 - 10th April 20.30h IRT

Humber Coastguard received a 999 call from a man at St, Marys Island, reporting a red or orange flare out to sea. The TVLB Landrover, which was out on patrol, was tasked to the scene to investigate. On arrival contact was made with the first informant, and a bearing was given to Coastguard of where he spotted the flare. The RAF Sea King was also tasked and began a search of the area using night vision equipment and radar. As nothing was found the TVLB were stood down and returned to station at 21.45h

034/02 - 30th March 14.30h IRT

The Sea King helicopter from Boulmer was tasked to Liverpool to airlift a baby to the Freeman hospital, and the Tynemouth VLB were asked to attend the landing site. The aircraft landed safely at 15.30, and the crew used their winch to lower the incubator and equipment to the ground, where the child was transferred to the waiting ambulance. After the aircraft had taken off for its return to Boulmer, the TVLB mobile was used to take the spare trolley from the ambulance to the RVI for collection.

033/02 - 27th March 01.45h IRT

Requested by the RAF to attend the RVI landing site, as Rescue helicopter 131 was inbound from a ferry 100 miles east of Newcastle, with a sick man. The casualty, a 75-year-old man, had suffered a suspected stroke, and had also broken his arm. The aircraft landed at 02.35h, and the man was carried from the helicopter to the waiting ambulance.

032/02 - 26th March 14.45h IRT

Paged by Coastguard to assist in the rescue of two persons trapped on the cliffs at Tynemouth. The two teenage boys were stuck half way up the north side of Sharpness Point, and the fire brigade who were in the area were also in attendance. A member of the Tynemouth VLB made his way to the base of the cliff to keep the teenagers calm, and assess the situation. It was decided that as they had arrived on the scene first, the fire brigade would send their man down, with the TVLB assisting with the rescue. The TVLB also requested that Cullercoats Inshore Lifeboat be paged to recover the casualties from the base of the cliff once they had been safely lowered. They were taken by boat to Cullercoats lifeboat station, where police and paramedics met them. This was a good opportunity for all of the different services to work together, and seemed to go well.

031/02 - 17th March 15.00h IRT

Asked by Humber Coastguard to investigate a report of a large buoy on the Fish Quay Sands. Found to be a large green navigation buoy that had broken loose from the river. The Harbour Masters were informed, but already aware of it.

030/02 - 16th March 22.00h IRT

The RAF requested that the RVI helicopter landing site be prepared for the Sea King, which was airlifting a crewman from one of the oil field support vessels. The casualty had suffered a perforated ulcer, and required medical attention. The helicopter landed at 23.00h, and the casualty was walked to the waiting ambulance.

029/02 - 13th March 15.40h IRT

While out on patrol with members of Humber Coastguard, who were in the area improving local knowledge, we were made aware of an incident occurring on the beach at Tynemouth. North East Ambulance service already had a unit on scene, and the air ambulance had been requested. On arrival it was found that a woman had fallen 8 foot from the path, onto the concrete promenade.  TVLB offered their assistance to the paramedics on scene, and helped them to transfer the casualty safely to the helicopter, which flew her to North Tyneside Hospital. The Brigade then continued with their patrol.

028/02 - 11th March 18.40h IRT

The TVLB and Cullercoats Lifeboat were paged to attend an incident in Cullercoats bay, where a man was wading into the sea to rescue his dog. The spaniel had been swept out while swimming, and the man went in to get it. On arrival, and before the lifeboat launched, the TVLB spoke to the man who had rescued the dog, made sure he was safe and well, and took details. Both rescue teams stood down.

027/02 - 6th March 21.30h IRT

Humber Coastguard called the TVLB and requested that we man the RVI helicopter landing site, as RAF rescue helicopter 131 was due to land with a crewman from one of the north sea oil rigs. The team arrived and began a debris sweep of the area for any items that could pose a hazard to the aircraft. The Sea King landed at 22.30h, and the casualty was walked off the helicopter with the assistance of the RAF Loadmaster, and passed into the care of the waiting Paramedics. The TVLB then returned to Tynemouth and re-housed the vehicle.

026/02 - 26th February 18.30h IRT

The RAF requested that the RVI helicopter landing site be manned, as the Sea King from Boulmer was bringing a 15 month old baby from Northern Ireland. The TVLB vehicle arrived on scene at 19.15h, only to be told that the aircraft was now due at 20.45h. At 19.55h we were then informed that the helicopter was now going to land at 20.20h and at the Freeman Hospital HLS. The Brigade quickly made their way there, and the helicopter landed at 20.30h. The child and medical equipment were transferred to the waiting ambulance, and taken to the hospital.

025/02 - 25th February 12.30h IRT

The Initial Response Team were paged to assist Tynemouth Lifeboat who had been called to a fishing vessel that had broken down in the mouth of the Tyne. The boats crew was able to restart their engine, and with the lifeboat and the TVLB standing watch, they returned to their berth.

024/02 - 24th February 16.00h IRT

Coastguard received a report from a member of the public of a white object in the mouth of the Tyne. The Tynemouth VLB investigated and it was seen to be a small boat that was bobbing in the rough swell, but was not in distress. The TVLB reported this to Coastguard and returned to station.

023/02 - 24th February 01.00h IRT

Paged by Humber Coastguard to attend an incident on the swing bridge in Newcastle, where a young woman had either fallen or jumped in to the Tyne. There was an almost immediate stand down as police on the scene had recovered her from the water.

022/02 - 22nd February 17.00h IRT

As the casualty had still not been found from the early morning call, members of the initial response team commenced a low water shoreline search. Again with nothing found.

021/02 - 22nd February 02.50h IRT+ BRT

Humber Coastguard requested that the TVLB begin a search of the Priory area, and northwards along the shore line, as the police had alerted them to a missing 41 year old man who had gone missing. There was a concern that he might be planning to harm himself in the coastal area, the police helicopter had already begun an aerial search and the Backup Response Team was called out. After just over one an a half hours searching from Tynemouth to St. Mary’s Lighthouse, the 15 strong search team was stood down.

020/02 - 21st February 16.00h IRT

The TVLB were tasked to investigate reports of a surfer in difficulties offshore at Tynemouth longsands. On arrival it was seen that the casualty was some way out & unable to get back to the shore, and drifting northwards. Cullercoats Inshore Lifeboat were requested, and paged by Coastguard. While the lifeboat was launching, the tide pushed the surfer toward the Bears Back rocks at Cullercoats, and a member of the Tynemouth VLB walked out to assist him. The lifeboat were stood down, and the surfer taken back to his car in Tynemouth.

019/02 - 10th February 19.00h IRT

Tasked by Coastguard to investigate a red flare over North Shields fish quay. After speaking to fishermen at the quayside it was found that it had been fired over land. Another hoax.

018/02 - 10th February 15.00h IRT

Humber Coastguard requested that the Tynemouth Volunteer Life Brigade prepare the RVI Helicopter landing site, as Rescue 131 were flying in with a casualty from an oil-rig standby boat who was suffering with chest pains. The Brigade cleared the area, clearing debris and checking the ground conditions. The aircraft landed at 15.20h, transferred the man to the ambulance, and left the area at 15.25. The man was taken to the General Hospital for checks, and the TVLB returned to Tynemouth.

017/02 - 9th February 00.17h IRT

Coastguard paged the TVLB and Tynemouth Lifeboat after receiving numerous 999 calls about a red distress flare, again in the Willington Quay area. Both the All weather and Inshore boats from Tynemouth began to search from the piers, up the Tyne, as far as Hebburn, while the TVLB searched from the shore, asking security guards and staff at the local all night petrol station if they had seen anything. After nearly 2 hours of searching, and with nothing seen or found, all units were stood down and returned after it was deduced that, again, the flare had been fired from the land.

016/02 - 4th February 19.00h IRT

Humber Coastguard contacted the TVLB to investigate a sighting of a red distress flare over the Tyne. Tynemouth All Weather Lifeboat, the South Shields Volunteer Life Brigade and the police were also tasked to search from Wallsend eastwards to the mouth of the Tyne. After speaking to several eyewitnesses, including our own caretaker, it was established that the flare had been fired from the land. This has been the third emergency call caused by improper use of distress flares, tying up valuable resources such as the lifeboat, police helicopter and coastal rescue teams, and could cause serious problems if there was a real emergency.

015/02 - 4th February 00.20h IRT

A Police officer from the Wallsend area reported sighting a red distress flare in the Willington Quay area, and the TVLB were tasked to investigate. The police helicopter also conducted a search along the river, and found nothing with its search lamp or heat sensitive camera. The Brigadesmen stood down after an hour and returned to station after it was established that the flare had been fired from the land.

014/02 - 2nd February 19.07h IRT

The TVLB were asked by Coastguard to investigate a report of a red flare over the Tyne Tunnel. A team made their way to the area and began a search, questioning tunnel staff and people near the riverside. Once it was decided that it was a false alarm, the Brigade returned to the Watchouse and stood down.

013/02 - 2nd February 15.00h IRT

Paged by Coastguard after they had received a 999 call from a member of the public who was walking on Tynemouth Longsands. He had been alerted to two young girls (12+14 years of age) who were stuck on the Bears Back rocks after being cut off by the tide. The Tynemouth Volunteer Life Brigade and Cullercoats Inshore lifeboat were tasked to the scene to rescue them. The first of the Brigadesmen to the incident began to wade out to calm the girls until the lifeboat got to them, and thanks to the speed of the Cullercoats crew launching their boat, they arrived before the tide got too high. The two girls were taken back to the lifeboat house to be dried off, and details were taken from them. Other Brigadesmen walked their friend from the beach to meet with them at the lifeboat and once the girls had been warmed up with cups of tea, they were taken home in the TVLB vehicle.
The Brigade stood down and returned to station.

012/02 - 29th January 19.20h IRT

A member of the initial response team was called by Coastguard to investigate a report of a red distress flare. The person making the report was some distance from where they thought it had been fired from, believed to be on the Tyne near East Howdon. On arrival, people out in the area were questioned and it was thought to have been a well-intentioned false alarm, caused by misuse of this type of equipment.

011/02 - 28th January 14.45h IRT

With Westerly winds reaching up to 90 miles per hour, the Brigade were tasked to the Tyne, where a 200 meter long floating dry dock had broken clear of it's moorings, and was making its way downriver. On the way it had severely damaged a fishing vessel, and was threatening to do further damage, until it was stopped by tugs from Tyne harbour and pushed against the riverbank. The pilot boats coordinated with the tugs to hold the dry dock until the winds dropped to a point where they could return it to its proper place.

010/02 - 28th January 05.45h  IRT+ BRT

The TVLB were paged by Coastguard on request of the Police, who were conducting a search for an 84 year old woman who had been reported missing from a care home in Whitley Bay. The staff had performed a bed check at 02.00h, but found her missing at the 04.00h check, and after an initial search of the home, and the local area, the TVLB were tasked to assist with a coastal search with our Backup Response Team being called out. Due to the predicted high winds, the Police helicopter was grounded and the RAF Sea King only available if we had a confirmed sighting of the casualty. Cullercoats inshore lifeboat was put on standby to launch, with their high speed allowing them to reach Whitley Bay quickly. After nearly 2 hours of searching by 12 members of the brigade, the TVLB were stood down and returned to station.

Thankfully, the woman was later found safe and well in another room of the care home.

009/02 - 26th January 14.05h IRT

After receiving reports of a red flare over the Tyne, Coastguard paged the TVLB to investigate. We were stood down almost immediately as Port of Tyne reported that it was launched from the land.

008/02 - 18th January 16.45h IRT

The Brigade were paged to assist Tynemouth inshore lifeboat, who had been tasked to search for a man that was reported as in the river Tyne, between the Swing, and Tyne bridges. The police, paramedics, and fire brigade were also in attendance. Members of the fire service eventually recovered the man. The two Coastal rescue teams were then stood down, and returned to their stations.

007/02 - 18th January 13.50h IRT

The Tynemouth Volunteer Life Brigade were paged by Coastguard to attend the RVI helicopter landing site to meet the RAF Rescue Helicopter, which was airlifting a 2 year old boy with 45% scalds from Manchester's Central hospital to Newcastle General Hospital. The aircraft landed at 14.20h, and the three Brigadesmen assisted in the transfer of the child, medical team, and their equipment to the waiting ambulance. The child was then taken to the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit, and the helicopter returned to Boulmer.

006/02 - 13th January 17.00h IRT

The Initial Response Team were paged by Coastguard, and asked to meet a 28 foot long pleasure boat that was being towed to the North Shields fish quay by the pilot boat 'Berwick.' The crew found that they were unable to re-start their engines after they had finished their days fishing just over a mile off the north pier at Tynemouth. The pilot boat, who were also outside the piers, passed a tow line to the craft 'Reaper' and brought it to safety.

005/02 - 12th January 02.37h IRT

Newcastle police informed the Coastguard that a man had jumped from the Tuxedo Princess, and had drifted to a jetty behind it. He was then jumping into the river every time the police got close to him while attempting to recover him. Tynemouth ILB were tasked to attend, along with the Fireboat, and made their way upriver to the incident. All rescue teams were stood down after the Police along with the Fire Brigade finally took the man into custody. He was passed into the care of the paramedics, and taken to hospital.

After a recent spate of early morning call-outs, it has been suggested by Coastguard that the initial response team should start sleeping in their clothes. If any one knows of a supplier of all weather pajamas, could they please get in touch?

004/02 - 8th January 15.10h IRT

Coastguard received a report of a vessel on fire at the mouth of the Tyne, and the TVLB, Tynemouth ALB, the Fire Brigade and Sea King 131 from Boulmer were tasked to attend. The crew of the boat, the pilot cutter Lynceus, had closed the hatches and pumped fire-extinguishing gas into the engine room to control the blaze. Tynemouth Lifeboat arrived and took the boat under tow to North Shields fish quay, and prepared the fire hoses in case of further outbreaks. As the boat was no longer in any immediate danger, the RAF Helicopter was stood down, and the Brigade, the Coastguard Sector Manager, and 9 Fire appliances at the quay met the cutter. The Fire-fighting boat was also launched, ready to attend if required. Once details were taken for the Coastguard, and the vessel was declared safe by the fire brigade, the TVLB stood down and returned to the Watchouse.

003/02 - 6th January 15.00h IRT

Request by Coastguard to check on some fishermen apparently in cut off by the tide on rock north of Cullercoats. It turned out that they were well prepared, and not in any danger.

002/02 - 6th January 02.30h IRT

After a request from the police, the TVLB and Tynemouth Inshore Lifeboat were paged to attend an incident next to the Tyne bridge in Newcastle where a man had fallen off the floating nightclub the Tuxedo Princess. The Brigade was almost immediately stood down after the police on scene recovered the person. It was later disclosed that the casualty had died. 

001/02 - 2nd January 15.45h IRT

Paged by Coastguard to investigate a report of a red distress flare offshore at Tynemouth. The TVLB attended and found it to be a well-intentioned false alarm.



The Tynemouth Volunteer Life Brigade. Registered Charity Number 1093237

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