Ingoldmells RNLI lifeguards rescue man who had fallen asleep on an inflatable

Lifeguards News Release

Yesterday (Tuesday 31 July) lifeguards of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) spotted a man drifting out to sea from Ingoldmells Beach, after falling asleep on an inflatable dinghy.

Ingoldmells RNLI lifeguards on patrol.


Ingoldmells RNLI lifeguards on patrol.

At around 3:30pm the charity’s lifeguards grew concerned when they noticed a middle-aged man on a dinghy drifting further out to sea and who was clearly unaware of his own predicament. The man had fallen asleep and an offshore wind had blown the inflatable 100m from the beach front.

The male had taken his inflatable to sea outside of the lifeguarded area, a zone marked out by red and yellow flags that indicate the safest place to swim, bodyboard, and use inflatables.

RNLI Lifeguard Janusz Burda swam out on a rescue board and managed to bring him safely back to shore, while Tom Harrop remained in the lifeguard unit and liaised with the Coastguard.

A second lifeguard, George Walker, was on the scene and met both Janusz and the casualty at the shoreline, where both lifeguards carried out their casualty care checks and the man didn’t need any further treatment.

RNLI Lifeguard Supervisor, Arun Gray, said: ‘The heatwave has resulted in busy beaches the past couple of weeks and with that we are getting more and more call outs to incidents involving inflatables.

‘Inflatables are simply not designed for the beach as they can be quickly swept out to sea.

‘However, if you do choose to use them, we would like to remind people that they should only be used near the shore and between the red and yellow flags.

‘Janusz, George, and Tom did a great job in spotting the man and getting him back to safety as quickly as possible.’

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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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