Off-duty RNLI Lifeguard Supervisor races to help walker with broken ankle
An off-duty RNLI lifeguard and Coastguard rescue teams raced to the aid of a walker who had broken her ankle on a remote section of the coast path.
Ceredigion and north Pembrokeshire RNLI Lifeguard Supervisor Sam Bailey became aware of the incident, which happened when a 66-year-old woman slipped from a style while walking between Pwllglaelod and Fishguard.
Sam, who was off duty on the day and lives about a mile away from the spot, was first on the scene after he cycled to Pwllgwaelod and ran along the path to find the woman in severe pain.
He carried out initial checks on the injured woman and liaised with Milford Haven Coastguard, who had dispatched a land rescue team who arrived shortly after.
Sam and the coastguard team members monitored the casualty while waiting for the Coastguard Search and Rescue helicopter to arrive and airlift her to hospital.
In the meantime fellow RNLI Lifeguard Supervisor Michael Vincent rushed from the RNLI’s Cardigan base with a trauma bag carrying pain relief and other first aid equipment.
After administering pain relief Sam and Michael, working with the Coastguard team, used fracture straps and put the woman on a spinal board ready to be winched to hospital when the helicopter arrived shortly after.
Phil Davies, RNLI Lifeguard Manager, said: ‘The incident last Friday (15 July) showed fantastic teamwork and communication between our lifeguard team and the Coastguard rescue teams and the lengths that our lifeguards will go to to help those in need.’
Lifeguards in Pembrokeshire and Ceredigion are entering their busiest time of the year as schools break up for summer tomorrow (Wednesday 20 July). Eight beaches in Ceredigion and 12 in Pembrokeshire will have a daily lifeguard service throughout the summer holidays, with lifeguards on duty between 10am and 6pm. There is also a daily service on Pendine beach.
This week lifeguards on a number of beaches in the area carried out rescues and assists where people in inflatables got swpet out on offshore winds and were unable to return to shore.
Lifeguard Supervisor Michael Vincent said: 'Blow-up toys and airbeds are designed for pools, not the sea where they can easily be swept out. If you do use them at the beach, then ensure children are closely supervised, keep near the shore, only use them between the red and yellow flags, always follow the lifeguard’s advice, do not take them out in big waves and never use them when orange windsock is flying, as this indicates offshore winds which will blow inflatables further out to sea.
‘We encourage those thinking of a trip to the coast over the summer to always visit a lifeguarded beach and if you’re heading into the sea please respect the water and swim between the red and yellow flags, which have been designated as the safest swimming areas by lifeguards.
‘The lifeguards are fully trained in all aspects of beach safety, so if you have any questions please approach a lifeguard who will be more than happy to help or offer expert advice.’
Last year RNLI lifeguards assisted over 900 people on 32 of Wales’ busiest beaches. This year the charity has increased the safety patrols to 39 beaches across the Welsh coast.
Notes to editors:
The attached picture shows the Coastguard Search and Rescue helicopter and coastguard team members at the scene. Credit RNLI/Michael Vincent
For more information please contact Chris Cousens, RNLI Press Officer, Wales and West, on 01745 585162 or 07748 265496 or by email on firstname.lastname@example.org. Alternatively call the RNLI Press Office on 01202 336789.
Key facts about the RNLI
The RNLI charity saves lives at sea. Its volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service around the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland coasts. The RNLI operates over 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and more than 240 lifeguard units on beaches around the UK and Channel Islands. The RNLI is independent of Coastguard and government and depends on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824, its lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved over 142,700 lives.