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RNLI lifeguards rescue teenagers in high winds and big waves at Langland beach

Lifeguards News Release

An RNLI lifeguard rescued three teenagers who had drifted more than 300m from a Swansea beach in big waves and high winds.

Lifeguards had raised the red flag at Langland Bay on Saturday (20 August) as the adverse weather and swell conditions meant there were strong rip currents and the sea was unsafe to enter. Three teenage boys were seen entering the water with two surfboards and a bodyboard and lifeguards issued safety advice recommending the boys refrain from going in.

But the three decided to enter the water anyway and before long were being swept out away from the beach by a rip current and strong winds.

Senior RNLI lifeguard Rhys Edwards instructed fellow lifeguard Hamish Addey to paddle out to the three boys, who by this time had been swept around Crab Island roughly 300m from Langland beach, on a surf rescue board. Meanwhile Rhys called HM Coastguard for support, who requested the launch of the inshore lifeboat from The Mumbles RNLI.

Through 2m waves Hamish managed to paddle to the three boys, who were unable to return to shore in the difficult conditions. He managed to bring them onto the surf rescue board and return them to shore. Due to the strength of the wind and currents, a decision was made not to return the three to Langland beach but to land them on nearby rocks on the far side of Crab Island, where fellow lifeguard Aran Rees helped Hamish bring the teenagers to safety and carry out first aid checks.

The boys were given safety advice but required no further medical treatment.

The volunteer lifeboat crew from The Mumbles RNLI were stood down once HM Coastguard received word the three teenagers had been returned to shore safely.

Rob Steele, RNLI Lifeguard Supervisor, said: ‘Conditions on Saturday were extremely challenging with 2m waves, strong winds and strong rip currents running so the team deserve real credit for carrying out such a tricky rescue and ensuring a good outcome for the three boys.

‘Our lifeguard teams are fully trained to assess the risks on beaches and to advise people on how to stay safe so we would always encourage people to listen to their advice. The red flag means lifeguards consider the conditions too dangerous to enter the water.

‘Anyone who does find themselves caught in a rip should try not to panic and try to keep your head above water. If you can put your feet down and stand, do so. Raise your hand to attract attention and call loudly for help.’

RNLI lifeguards will be on Langland beach, Caswell beach, Port Eynon beach, Three Cliffs Bay, Swansea Bay and Aberavon beach between 10am and 6pm every day until 4 September.

Notes to editors:

The attached picture shows an RNLI lifeguard in action. Credit RNLI.

For more information please contact Chris Cousens on 07748 265 496 or 01745 585162 or by email on Chris_Cousens@RNLI.or.g.uk

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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