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Blyth and Tynemouth RNLI come to the aid of swimmers in distress

Lifeboats News Release

Volunteer Crew from Blyth RNLI diverted whilst on a routine training exercise to reports of persons requiring assistance.

Stock image

RNLI/Robin Palmer

Blyth RNLI Atlantic 75 inshore lifeboat

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".

Media Contact

Robin Palmer Volunteer Crew Member & Lifeboat Press Officer


Mobile: 07801 290638

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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