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Mersea Island: Rescue crews save casualties on island trapped during tidal surge

12:18 14 August 2014

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Several people who needed emergency medical help were rescued from an island in Essex yesterday when the tidal waters rose.

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Mersea Coastguard Rescue Team had been sent to Mersea Island just after 1.10pm to ensure members of the public attending the Mersea Round the Island Race were safe.

The race organisers, West Mersea Yacht Club, expected high water at about 3pm. But during the afternoon rescue crews from at least eight groups helped “multiple” people who needed medical assistance separate from the race event.

Paramedics tried to get to those injured but called lifeboat crews for help as the tidal waters had blocked The Strood road which leads to and from the island. Coastguard rescue teams from Mersea and South Woodham ferried medics to and from the island to get to those hurt.

The East of England Ambulance Service said there were a total of four incidents. At 1pm a woman in her 80s suffered a fall and was taken to Colchester General Hospital. Her condition is not thought to be serious.

Half-an-hour later a man in his 80s fell ill. A rapid response car attended and he was also taken to Colchester General.

At 2pm a man in his 60s was suffering chest pains, believed to be a heart attack, he was airlifted to Basildon Hospital for further treatment.

Around the same time a man in his 90s had suffered a fall. A community first responder was dispatched and the patient was referred to their GP.

Gary Baines, senior locality manager, said: “I want to thank the ambulance crews and our colleagues in the other emergency services for their efforts in ensuring that all of our patients got the help they needed during the high-tide.

“More often than not we are fortunate enough to avoid the high tides, however we do have measures in place such as the community first responder group based on the island. We also utilise the help of the coastguard along with the regional air ambulance team as and when necessary to ensure our patients are responded to as quickly as possible.”

A Thames Coastguard spokesman said: “Yesterday there was the Mersea Round the Island Race, everyone involved in the race was ok, no-one was stuck or anything, but during the race we had a number of medical evacuations from the island.

“Four people went to hospital; the Essex Air Ambulance helped the man who suffered the heart attack. He was taken to Basildon Hospital’s cardiac unit.”

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