This was one of seven emergency callouts dealt with so far this year by William McLeod, Fishermen’s Mission Area Officer for the Western Isles. Here, William tells us what happens when the rescue is completed, and the helicopter has gone – but the casualty remains.

“Often when I get to the Hospital, I find the injured fisherman is traumatised. It can be very frightening to be involved in incidents like this one. They may have had an accident on board their vessel resulting in injury or have suffered a health emergency such as a heart attack. My first step is to deliver a comfort pack to them – just a few simple things like a toothbrush and toothpaste, but they can make such a difference. I then ascertain if the casualty’s family has been informed of the incident. In the case of the Polish fisherman, I brought in an interpreter to help.

“I’ll keep a close watch on them over the next few days as they recover. Should they need a transfer to a mainland hospital, I’ll liaise with my Fishermen’s Mission colleagues to ensure our care is seamless and ongoing.

“The casualty will often arrive by emergency helicopter and have no money, no clean or undamaged clothes, no phone, and no resources for getting home safely once discharged. These are my next priorities. Having someone alongside them when they are at their most vulnerable means everything. So far this year I have repatriated fishermen to Poland, Norway, Ireland, and other parts of the UK.

“Shipwrecked and injured fishermen rely on the unique care the Fishermen’s Mission gives. So often we focus on the drama of the rescue at sea but don’t think too much about what happens next.”

Fishermen injured at sea are often traumatised, frightened, and confused. One hour of William’s time brings comfort, safety, and hope. Please support our work today to ensure this is always the case. Thank you.