Sedgewell RNLI lifeguards rescue two children trapped under capsized boat

Lifeguards News Release

RNLI lifeguards at Sedgewell beach rescued two children and two adults who had been thrown into the water after their boat capsized on Sunday 19 August.

RNLI lifeguard David Tunbridge was training in the water on a rescue board when he noticed the boat making its way out of the river Avon. Upon seeing the three foot choppy surf, the occupants of the boat had decided to turn back in towards the river. As they did so a large wave caught the boat as it was side on, capsizing the vessel. This threw the two adults into the sea and left the two children, aged eight and nine, trapped beneath the vessel’s hull.

Dave immediately paddled over to the vessel and, seeing that the two children were trapped, dived under the boat to help them whilst the two adult casualties hung onto it. With the help of a surfer who had watched the incident unfold, Dave reassured the children as they had become very confused and scared and then brought them back out to safety.

Whilst doing so, RNLI lifeguard Rosie Lawrence had paddled over and had requested the assistance of the inshore rescue boat (IRB) from Bantham beach. Dave and Rosie then helped colleagues Alistair Williams and Emily Lawrence in getting the four casualties into the IRB where they were taken to safety ashore.

Chris Rampling, RNLI lifeguard supervisor for the area, said:

‘This is a prime example of an incident where wearing a lifejacket can save your life. All four casualties were wearing lifejackets that inflated as soon as they entered the water which kept them afloat until help arrived. Had they not been wearing these, the outcome could have been very different.

The RNLI advises that anyone planning a trip out on a boat always wears an appropriate lifejacket or buoyancy aid and always carry a means of calling for help.’

Notes to Editor

  • Video credit: Nick Crowe
  • RNLI lifeguards patrol over 249 beaches around the UK and Channel Islands

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For more information, please contact Jessica Putt, Media Engagement Placement, at jessica_putt@rnli.org.uk or Amy Caldwell, Regional Media Manager, at amy_caldwell@rnli.org.uk.

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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 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.

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