Off-duty RNLI lifeguard saves lives of body boarders caught in a rip currrent

Lifeguards News Release

Off-duty RNLI lifeguard Tom Davis rescued two body boarders from a rip current at Gwithian on Tuesday evening (21 August).

RNLI

RNLI lifeguard Tom Davis

Tom Davis, who had been on patrol earlier in the day, was completing some open water swim training just before 7:30pm on Tuesday evening when he spotted two body boarders in distress.

The two casualties were being dragged out to sea by a rip current and were struggling to keep their heads above the one and a half metre swell. Tom immediately swam over to them and tried to calm them down. Whilst Tom was reassuring the casualties, he called for to a surfer in the area for assistance.

The surfer helped one casualty back to shore whilst Tom remained with the non-swimmer. Tom continued to reassure the casualty and keep him afloat until he was in a calm enough state for Tom to help him out of the rip current.

Tom then swam back to shore whilst towing the casualty and utilised the time between the sets of waves to make it safely back to shore. Once ashore, Tom assessed both casualties and issued safety advice to them.

Ollie Shilston, RNLI lifeguard supervisor for the area, said:

‘Tom acted incredibly selflessly here and had he not luckily been training at the time, the outcome of this incident could have been very different. Tom acted in a calm and professional way, reassuring the casualties and aiding them without even the help of the equipment available whilst on patrol during the day.

The RNLI urges that you always visit a lifeguarded beach – especially this weekend with the bank holiday coming up. The lifeguards are on duty daily from 10am-6pm and use the red and yellow flags mark out the safest area to swim and bodyboard. We advise that you never enter the water when the lifeguards aren’t on duty.’

Notes to Editor

  • RNLI lifeguards patrol over 249 beaches around the UK and Channel Islands

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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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