RNLI lifeguards on Crantock beach save a lady from drowning
RNLI lifeguards patrolling Crantock beach in Cornwall saved a woman from drowning on Sunday afternoon (9 September).
The lady had reached the beach over the sand dunes and entered the water at the southern end, about 400 metres from the red and yellow flagged bathing area which is patrolled by the lifeguards.
RNLI lifeguard John Steadman explains what happened;
‘The incident happened at about 3.30pm, when the tide was coming in. Spring tides mean the water comes in much quicker and higher, as the incident unfolded it was nearing high tide. At Crantock the water is extremely deep only metres from the shoreline at this stage of the tide and there is a continuous rip current going out to sea.
The lady was unaware of the dangers and had entered the water at a very dangerous location. Thankfully the lifeguards on duty saw the situation unfold. They made their way over immediately in the patrol truck. The lady very quickly began to struggle and go under the water.’
RNLI lifeguard Stephen Daley was watching from the lifeguard facility at the top of the beach and instructed his colleagues to make a rapid rescue.
RNLI Lifeguard Luke Cartwright paddled the rescue board out through the surf where the casualty had now been dragged out 50 metres. From his vantage point, Steve could see the lady being hit by waves which were now pushing her under the water.
When Luke reached her, she was semi unconscious and seemed lifeless, he rolled the casualty onto the rescue board and paddled her through the surf to the shore. He was met by his colleagues Theresa Morokutti and Sam Johnson and together they provided casualty care.
However, with the tide flooding in they had to work quickly, having to move the casualty further up the beach as the water got higher. She was still semi-conscious and vomiting. After requesting assistance from paramedics the lifeguards had to work quickly to evacuate the casualty from the location
‘We put the casualty on a stretcher and transferred her using the 4WD vehicle, narrowly escaping being cut off by the incoming tide. She was taken by ambulance to Trelisske Hospital for further treatment.
We’ve since heard that she has made a recovery and has been discharged by the hospital, this is really welcome news for the lifeguards. She was extremely lucky that she was spotted when she was, the water was much deeper than she had anticipated and currents were very strong, with a big surf running the conditions were not good. With the added pressure of an incoming tide threatening to cut everyone off from the rest of the beach, the lifeguard team worked extremely well to perform a rescue and treat the lady.’
Notes to Editor
- RNLI lifeguards patrol over 249 beaches around the UK and Channel Islands
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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 over 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.