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RNLI lifeguards attend two multi-agency rescue operations at Cullercoats

Lifeguards News Release

Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) lifeguards took part in two separate multi-agency rescue operations yesterday (Thursday 18 August) at Cullercoats.

At around 5.10pm RNLI lifeguards received a call alerting them to an incident at Browns Bay where a person had fallen from the cliffs.

RNLI lifeguard Tom Steedman from the lifeguard unit at Cullercoats immediately attended the scene with his medical trauma bag. His colleagues Phil Richie and Matthew Dunn from Longsands beach also attended in the charity’s inshore rescue boat.

The lifeguards performed a casualty care check on the male teenager who had fallen onto the lower promenade. They kept him in stable condition until paramedics arrived. An off-duty RNLI lifeboat crew member also helped at the scene.

The casualty was then transferred to the Air Ambulance in a joint operation involving the Fire Service, Police, Tynemouth Volunteer Life Brigade and RNLI lifeguards.

This operation was highly specialised and involved extracting the teenager around the side of the cliffs to a safe point of clear grass at the top.

While this incident was unfolding, at around 5.45pm, RNLI lifeguards Jasmine Spokes and Cara Singleton spotted a man who had fallen on rocks near the lifeguard unit at Cullercoats.

They rushed to assist him and performed a casualty care assessment. After administering oxygen and monitoring his breathing, they handed him over to paramedics. He was then airlifted to hospital by Coastguard Rescue Helicopter.

RNLI Lifeguard Manager, Carl Harris said: ‘Both casualties received swift and effective treatment which is testament to the seamless teamwork demonstrated by the agencies involved.

‘All RNLI lifeguards receive comprehensive first aid training as part of the role. This vital training ensured that our lifeguards remained calm under pressure and I am extremely proud of the team.’

The RNLI has no further information on the condition of the casualties.

RNLI Picture caption
The photograph shows the second casualty being transferred for treatment. Credit: RNLI/Adrian Don.

RNLI media contacts
For more information, please contact Clare Hopps, RNLI Press Officer, North, on 07824 518641 or at

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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The RNLI is a charity registered in England and Wales (209603) and Scotland (SC037736). Charity number 20003326 in the Republic of Ireland