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Boat Club receives defibrillator donation

RUBC members holding defibrillators

In March 2020, prior to the first national lockdown, Year 2 Architecture student and keen rower Albert Mitchell entered cardiac arrest during an indoor training session at the Boat Club’s boathouse (located on the North side of the river, in Caversham).

Thankfully, the quick reactions of Will Rand (Director of Rowing) and Charlotte Taylor (coach) helped save Albert’s life. Soon after he collapsed off the rowing machine, one of the club’s Automated External Defibrillators (AED) was hurried through from the kitchen.

As emergency services made their way to the boathouse and other athletes were ushered outside, the coaches were able to take steps towards resuscitating Albert thanks to the invaluable equipment at their disposal.

Upon arrival, paramedics took over, swiftly moving Albert to the Royal Berkshire Hospital. He has since returned to good health.

The ordeal highlighted the life-saving importance of AEDs, despite circumstances requiring their use being highly infrequent. RUBC is very fortunate to have a sheltered and uninterrupted 6km stretch of the River Thames to train on; however, a crew could be a fatal distance from the boathouse were they to find themselves in similar circumstances.

The Mitchell Family have kindly funded the purchase of two further AEDs for RUBC, to be kept on each of the two safety launches. The coaches use these two motorboats to follow crews during training, meaning help is now always on hand.

Speaking of his experience and the donation, Albert said: ‘I think we are all extremely grateful that I’m still alive and really hope that no ever needs to use them.’

Albert has since returned to RUBC in a new capacity, helping out multiple times a week with the Novice Squad. Having missed a great deal of water-experience due to the pandemic, Albert’s expertise is greatly valued in preparing the beginners for the fast-approaching BUCS Regatta at the end of June.

RUBC as a whole would like to reiterate its immense gratitude to the Mitchell’s for their generosity.

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