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RNLI lifeguards treat injured walker airlifted from Three Cliffs Bay

Lifeguards News Release

RNLI lifeguards and HM Coastguard teams treated a walker who fell and sustained a suspected broken ankle at Three Cliffs Bay.

The woman fell while crossing the stream at the top of the beach at about 5.55pm on Tuesday (16 August).

The RNLI lifeguard team, who carry a range of first aid equipment and are fully first aid trained, assessed the woman who was in severe pain and whose breathing rate was increasing. They called for assistance from HM Coastguard, administered oxygen and monitored the woman’s condition.

When a Coastguard Rescue Team from Oxwich arrived it was decided to call for the Coastguard Search and Rescue helicopter to evacuate the woman. The helicopter landed on marshland to the right of the Beach Lifeguard Unit at the top of the beach and with the help of the RNLI lifeguards and the Coastguard team the helicopter paramedics were able to take the woman aboard and airlift her off for further treatment shortly before 8pm.

Chris Vaughan, RNLI Lifeguard Supervisor, said: ‘Our lifeguards carry out extensive multi-agency training with our colleagues from HM Coastguard so we are ready to work together when incidents like this occur. We wish the woman a speedy recovery.’

RNLI lifeguards were introduced at Three Cliffs Bay this summer as part of a community safety plan developed by the RNLI, HM Coastguard, the National Trust and other landowners to help people enjoy the beach more safely. The charity’s lifeguards will provide a daily safety service on the beach between 10am and 6pm until 4 September.

Chris added: ‘The sea conditions at Three Cliffs Bay can be dangerously unpredictable. Visitors to the beach should only swim while lifeguards are on duty between 10am and 6pm. Swimming outside of these hours can be dangerous and is not recommended. Visitors should always swim between the red and yellow flags, where RNLI lifeguards are on hand should anyone get into difficulty. Anyone with any queries about beach safety should approach our lifeguards who are more than happy to help.’

Notes to editors:

The attached picture shows an RNLI lifeguard and the Coastguard Search and Rescue helicopter during Tuesday's medical evacuation from Three Cliffs Bay (credit RNLI).

For more information please contact Chris Cousens, RNLI Press Officer, Wales and West, on 07748 265496 or 01745 585162 or by email on

Key facts about the RNLI

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution is the charity that saves lives at sea. Our volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service in the United Kingdom and Ireland from 238 lifeboat stations, including four along the River Thames and inland lifeboat stations at Loch Ness, Lough Derg, Enniskillen, Carrybridge and Lough Ree. Additionally the RNLI has more than 1,000 lifeguards on over 240 beaches around the UK and operates a specialist flood rescue team, which can respond anywhere across the UK and Ireland when inland flooding puts lives at risk.

The RNLI relies on public donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. As a charity it is separate from, but works alongside, government-controlled and funded coastguard services. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824 our lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved at least 140,000 lives. Volunteers make up 95% of the charity, including 4,600 volunteer lifeboat crew members and 3,000 volunteer shore crew. Additionally, tens of thousands of other dedicated volunteers raise funds and awareness, give safety advice, and help in our museums, shops and offices.

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