Kick-off water sports season 2019: A full program for SeaHelp volunteers

Start of the 2019 water sports season: Full program for SeaHelp volunteers
The 2019 water sports season has just begun, and SeaHelp is already in full swing. Especially the first few days, which also included the Whitsuntide, were very busy: 19 interventions, one salvage, 253 nautical miles covered, 78 of them in tow - that was SeaHelp's opening balance for just two days. And it was to continue with a similar intensity - the rescue boats are currently hardly to be found at their locations, and the employees are working almost non-stop. By 1 July 2019, SeaHelp had already recorded 20% more assignments than in the same period last year.

Whether a yacht had to be salvaged in Istria or an injured diver was quickly taken to a doctor for treatment, the staff at the head office in Punat could certainly not complain about a lack of workload. Most of the time, however, things went relatively smoothly for those involved. Failing batteries, fuel problems or isolated engine and electronic problems were quickly rectified.

Apparently word has spread quickly that when calling the SeaHelp helpline, a German-speaking paramedic or doctor can also be reached who can give valuable tips on how to perform first aid and first aid treatment of wounds professionally until the patients are handed over to the care of Croatian doctors. The issuing of prescriptions, which are then sent by fax to the nearest Croatian pharmacy, also went smoothly. However, SeaHelp points out that this service is currently still in the trial phase and is not provided by SeaHelp, but by its cooperation partner Kirt Steiermark.

SeaHelp brings injured divers ashore.
SeaHelp brings injured divers ashore.

If there are major repairs on the ship that cannot be repaired by SeaHelp staff on site and are not part of the free member services offered, SeaHelp will provide addresses and telephone numbers of local mechanics at the express request of the members concerned. This does not, however, say anything about the quality of the work done by these companies or individuals, nor should it be taken as a SeaHelp recommendation, but merely as an indication of who could be contracted to repair major damage.

A SeaHelp operations center spokesperson: “We are happy to help where we can! Even within concession areas such as marinas, we try to reach the relevant authorities so that the customer can be on the road again quickly. But it’s not our fault if, for example, the marina employee doesn’t want to come on Saturday evening, or the mechanic would rather spend Sunday with his family…”

Underwater hull damaged in an accident.
Underwater hull damaged in an accident.

So much for the season opener at Whitsun. What a “normal” weekend at SeaHelp looks like, here is an overview. Listed are only the most important missions on June 22nd and 23rd, small things like fuel deliveries, starting aid or other support, which were done with a few simple steps, are not even mentioned.

Update: Saturday 22.06.2019:

06:40 am: Captain of a yacht off Solta is stung by a wasp, develops a strong allergic reaction, Kirt Steiermark issues a prescription, SeaHelp staff bring medicine to the yacht

1:23 pm: The captain of a yacht in the Mali Losinj area complains of a dislocated shoulder, SeaHelp, in coordination with SAR, organizes transport to the hospital, emergency services transfer the yacht and crew to Mali Losinj, since no one on board could steer the yacht except the owner.

Around 10:00 pm: Storm’s coming.

11:10 pm: 12-metre sailing yacht is thrown onto rocks near Sestrunj, crew rescues themselves ashore, waves at approach 1.5 metres high, crew is picked up and taken to the mainland.

11:40 pm: 12-meter yacht wrecked off the island of Zirje – SeaHelp initially secures the ship.

11:50 pm: 21-metre yacht ran aground in the Kornati islands, recovery only possible at daybreak.

Update: Sunday 232.06.2019:

05:00 am: Rescue boats are deployed to tow the three ships out in daylight

1:00 pm: Next ground contact: 14-metre catamaran sat on rocks, high tide had washed the sailor free again, heavy water ingress, SeaHelp attaches pumps and tows catamaran in Marina Sukosan.

5:00 pm: Operational documentation and follow-up

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