RNLI lifeguards rescue man on jet-ski off King Edward’s Bay

Lifeguards News Release

On Sunday (15 July) King Edward’s Bay RNLI lifeguards were keeping a watchful eye over the activity of a jet-ski that was in the water when the male passenger suddenly fell into the water.

RNLI lifeguards running towards the sea

RNLI/Nigel Millard

RNLI lifeguards in action

At around 3:20pm RNLI lifeguard Eira Hegarty was patrolling the sea when the man came off the jet-ski and fell into the water, where he immediately began to struggle as he was unable to swim and his lifejacket wasn’t fitted properly. Eira immediately began swimming to him on her rescue board and was at the scene within 30 seconds to support the casualty onto the board and keep him afloat.

The man was panicking and his breathing was erratic, but Eira used her lifeguard training to calm him down and paddled him safely back to the beach.

RNLI lifeguard Will Hogg also spotted the incident and immediately swam over with his rescue board and oversaw Eira bringing the man to shore, standing by to provide an extra pair of hands.

Once back on the beach, the lifeguards checked that the man had no injuries and offered him some friendly safety advice.

After the incident, RNLI Lifeguard Supervisor Sean Mills said: ‘This was an incredible rescue and one that proves the importance of visiting a lifeguarded beach. If our lifeguards had not been there to keep a watchful eye, this incident could have had a very different outcome.

‘It’s important for water sport enthusiasts to wear an appropriately fitted lifejacket or buoyancy aid, to always have a means of calling for help and keep it within easy reach, and always drive your watercraft at a speed that is appropriate to the weather conditions.’

How to stay safe

  • Always wear an appropriate lifejacket or buoyancy aid.
  • Always have a means of calling and signalling for help, and keep it within easy reach.
  • Ensure there is an emergency action plan in place and everybody has an appropriate onboard briefing (in particular on the location and use of the safety equipment, including the spare kill cord for powerboats).
  • Undertake the appropriate level of training for your craft.
  • Always check the weather and tide times.
  • Make sure someone ashore knows where you are going and who to call if you don't return on time.
  • Always drive your watercraft at a speed that is appropriate to the weather conditions and to the environment you are operating within.
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For more information please contact Megan McBride, RNLI Media Engagement Placement North East and East, on 0191 536 9158 or at: [email protected]

Key facts about the RNLI

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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