'They are my heroes' - woman thanks her RNLI rescuers
A WOMAN who suffered serious injuries after falling from a yacht has returned to RNLI Calshot to thank the crew for rescuing her.
Deckhand Tricia Harvey had been trying to disembark the moored vessel near to Hamble River Sailing Club when she tripped and struck the pontoon before hitting the water in June 2018.
Using the lifeboat stretcher the crew secured Tricia, who was in pain and becoming cold, and transferred her to its Altantic 85 lifeboat, Max Walls. She was then taken to Hamble Marina where an ambulance was waiting for her.
Unbeknown to the crew, Tricia had suffered a smashed elbow, broken three bones in her arm, smashed her hip, and suffered four fractures in her pelvis.
She spent 11 weeks in hospital and had numerous operations, including a hip replacement. She is still undergoing physio treatment.
The life-changing injuries meant Tricia had to leave her job to focus on her rehabilitation and she has made changes such as driving an automatic car as she is unable to straighten her arm to change gears in a manual vehicle.
Despite what she has been through, Tricia was determined to visit the station to give her personal thanks to the crew who helped to save her life.
She said: “It was overwhelming to meet some of the crew that plucked me from the water. There is not an awful lot I remember once I was brought ashore, but I do remember the fall and being in the water in excess of 40 minutes and being in terrible pain.
“Being held up by my fellow sailors, I do remember thinking, 'how am I going to get out of the water' as I could hardly move.
"The RNLI arrived - there was not an awful lot of room for them to work as other boats were moored along the pontoon – and they got me out with the minimum of fuss and with the minimum of pain to myself.”
She added: “They are my heroes and what makes it even more remarkable, is they are all volunteers. It doesn't bear thinking about what could have happened without them. My family and especially myself send them our love and heartfelt thanks.”
The crew were also invited to the Hamble River Sailing Club in November to receive a donation of £250 as a thank you for rescuing Tricia, who has been a member for many years.
Tricia’s son David Harvey also took part in a 100-mile run along the North Downs and raised £509 for the RNLI.
A spokesperson for RNLI Calshot said: “The volunteer crew loved having Tricia visit and are extremely grateful for her fundraising efforts since.
"They hope she continues to do well and hope to see her again, on an incident-free occasion of course.”