RNLI lifeguards help with suspected heart attack casualty

Lifeguards News Release

Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) lifeguards provided medical assistance to a man who collapsed with a suspected heart attack in what was a busy week on Wells beach in North Norfolk.

Last Tuesday lifeguards were alerted by a young boy to his father who he suspected of having a heart attack. On arrival lifeguards recognised the man to be in cardiac arrest and immediately started chest compression.

Prompt arrival of the Lifeguard defibrillator allowed them to successfully shock and bring the man back to full level of consciousness, fifteen minutes after he had gone into cardiac arrest.

Lifeguards continued post resuscitation care with assistance from an off duty paramedic and nurse until the air ambulance arrived. They then helped to clear the landing zone for the helicopter before assisting in evacuating the casualty onto the helicopter.

Rob Willmore, Senior RNLI Lifeguard at Wells beach, said:

“I’m very proud of the lifeguards whose extensive casualty care training immediately kicked in and provided the man with immediate lifesaving interventions. Without this high quality medical care, and the rapid recognition of cardiac arrest and early call for help from the young boy his father may not have survived.

“Many people are unaware that Lifeguards perform lifesaving work not only in the water but also on the beach in our role as first responders for all medical emergencies, both major and minor. All RNLI lifeguards are highly trained in casualty care, which is a form of advanced first aid. The remoteness of the North Norfolk Coast and the nature of the environment we work within makes it often inaccessible to road ambulances hence the Lifeguards provide a vital role in the immediate response to look after injured or ill casualties until further help arrives.”

The following day lifeguards were asked to provide more medical assistance when the Coastguard tasked them to treat a 17 year old boy who dislocated his knee whilst playing cricket on the beach. The boy was given pain relief and their leg was assessed before paramedics arrived. Coastguard and Wells lifeboat assisted lifeguards in transporting the patient off the beach and into the ambulance. It wasn’t just humans that RNLI lifeguards came to the aid of this week, on the same day a collapsed dog who had become paralyzed was helped onto a RNLI spine board and taken off the beach.


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, in a normal year, 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.

Learn more about the RNLI

For more information please visit the RNLI website or Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. News releases, videos and photos are available on the News Centre.

Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries

Members of the public may contact the RNLI on 0300 300 9990 (UK) or 1800 991802 (Ireland) or by email.