Blyth and Tynemouth RNLI come to the aid of swimmers in distress
Volunteer Crew from Blyth RNLI diverted whilst on a routine training exercise to reports of persons requiring assistance.
The volunteer crew headed out on Sunday morning on a routine training exercise aboard the B Class Atlantic 75 inshore lifeboat in the Whitley Bay area.
Whilst continuing their training,radio contact was made from UK Coastguard that it had been reported that there were swimmers in the sea off of Whitley Bay possibly requiring assistance.
The inshore lifeboat Vic & Billie Whiffen was on scene within two minutes and started a search of the immediate area.
After approximately five minutes came across one male in the surf requiring assistance.
The male swimmer was brought on board the inshore lifeboat and was quickly transferred to the Tynemouth All Weather Lifeboat which had also been tasked to search for the swimmers.
Blyth Lifeboat then began to search the area again for the second casualty but were informed by UK Coastguard that the swimmer had made it safely ashore.
Tynemouth All Weather Lifeboat had proceeded back to Station and handed the casualty over to the North East Ambulance Service.
Steven Fitch, Helmsman of the Blyth inshore lifeboat said, "In the 9 years that I've been with the RNLI this would be one of the most challenging rescues that I've been involved in. The size of the surf meant that we had to quickly act to assist the swimmer in distress, and with the swift action of the crew we were able to pull the casualty aboard".
Robin Palmer Volunteer Crew Member & Lifeboat Press Officer
Mobile: 07801 290638
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.