Man ‘clings onto jetty for dear life’ during Storm Franklin

Girvan RNLI rescue and ambulance

A man who fell between his boat and a jetty during Storm Franklin on Monday night (21 February) was found clinging on to a jetty by his fingertips amid a ‘raging river’.

The man was rescued from River Girvan in Scotland after his calls for help happened to be overheard by Girvan lifeboat crew, who were completing their regular Monday night training. As the crew opened the external doors to leave the lifeboat building around 7pm they heard cries for help.

The crew quickly ran towards the cries of distress and found a man hanging by his fingertips from a wooden jetty in front of the lifeboat station.

After falling between his large boat and the jetty, the man had been washed under the jetty by the raging river and had managed to cling on by his fingertips at the other side of the jetty in the harbour in total darkness.

Storm Franklin had caused the river to rise by 2.5m, causing ‘raging torrents’ which the exhausted man had been battling.

According to the RNLI’s incident report: ‘The crew split up and some of our crew physically grabbed the male and held on for dear life against the current, while others flung life rings down so they could be put around the exhausted man, further crew raced around the harbour and down onto the pontoons and around to where the man was and he was hauled from the water.’

The man had been in the freezing water for a total of 15 minutes.

Girvan lifeboat coxswain, Callum Govus says: “The casualty was extremely lucky this evening in the fact we happened to be there at the time and were able to get to him so quickly.

“Potentially if we had been another few minutes heading out the door to training this man would have been swept away by the current out the pier end with the river in spate and no one would have known it had happened. I commend the crew for their quick actions and their training that kicked in, which resulted in a life saved this evening.”

The man was handed over to the Scottish Ambulance Service and then transferred to hospital in Ayr.

Readers can donate to Girvan Lifeboat.

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This article was written and/or edited by the UK-based MIN team.

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