RNLI lifeguards help woman thrown from horse before she’s airlifted to hospital

Lifeguards News Release

Lifeguards at Mawgan Porth beach responded quickly after a woman was thrown from her horse onto the beach.


RNLI lifeguards Sam, Dave and Jack went to the aid of a woman who'd fallen from her horse

A member of the public raised the alarm at around 4.20pm on Sunday 22 April after seeing the woman fall from the horse. She’d been riding along the beach when the horse she was on became startled.

Senior lifeguard Dave Kelly says: ‘When we got to the woman she was sat up and in a lot of pain. Our main concern initially was that she may have a spinal injury so we began checking her for signs and symptoms while lifeguard Jack Daniels called an ambulance. We cleared the immediate area to ensure the rider could be given the necessary medical attention. This was a real multi-agency effort and the woman was transferred to the care of Cornwall Air Ambulance crews who flew her to hospital with a suspected injury to her collar bone.’

The beach was busy at the time of the incident, with many walkers making the most of the warmer weather. Mawgan Porth is one of sixteen beaches across the south west region that has weekend lifeguard patrols on weekends throughout April until the season starts on 5 May.

Lifeguard supervisor Mark Priem says: ‘The charity’s lifeguards are highly trained in casualty care and Dave Kelly and Sam Harwood followed their training to make sure the woman was in no immediate danger and was as comfortable as she could be.

‘We do see horse riders making the most of our lovely beaches around the coast and we’d always remind them to be aware of their surroundings and the distractions there may be as a result.’

There is currently full time lifeguard cover on Fistral, Sennen and Portmeor beaches in Cornwall along with Croyde in North Devon.

Note to editors

  • Pictures and captions attached.
  • Lifeguard cover
    • Weekend lifeguard cover until 5 May when full time lifeguard cover resumes until October: Praa Sands, Hayle Towans, Gwithian, Porthtowan, Perranporth, Towan, Mawgan Porth, Watergate Bay, Harlyn, Constantine, Polzeath, Widemouth and Summerleaze in Cornwall and Woolacombe, and Bantham in Devon.
    • Daily patrols at Croyde until October.
    • Fistral, Sennen and Portmeor in Cornwall will have full time lifeguard cover from Friday 30 March until October.
  • In 2017, RNLI lifeguards across the south west dealt with 7,982 incidents, assisting 10,080 people
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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 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.

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