RNLI lifeguards at Seaburn rescue a mother and son

Lifeguards News Release

Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) lifeguards rescued a mother and her son yesterday (Wednesday 7 August) at Seaburn beach.

RNLI/Lily Humphries

The lifeguards involved in the rescue

The charity’s lifeguards Adam Blenkinsop and Andrew Brown were in the sea training when they were tasked at around 12.20pm. As they were already in the water, fellow lifeguard Joe Wilson at Whitburn asked them to attend as they were near the scene.

The mother and her eight-year-old were on a stand-up inflatable paddleboard. An offshore wind had blown them 400 metres out to sea, and they were struggling to get back.

Adam and Andrew launched their Rescue Water Craft (RWC) while their colleague Tom Hughes paddled out with a rescue board.

The casualties were recovered onto the RWC and taken ashore. The lifeguards then secured the inflatable and brought it back in.

After receiving a casualty care check at the lifeguard unit at Seaburn, the mother and child were given the all-clear. The lifeguards also chatted to them and shared some sea safety tips.

RNLI Lifeguard, Adam Blenkinsop, said: ‘Owing to our swift response, we were able to rescue the mother and her son before they drifted further out to sea into danger. Inflatables look like great fun but they can be very deceptive as if an off-shore wind takes hold, the craft can be carried far out to sea.

‘We had the orange sock flying yesterday which indicates an off-shore or strong wind and no inflatables. We’d always advise people to respect the water by observing safety flags and visiting a lifeguarded beach.’

The RNLI advises that blow-up toys and inflatables are designed for pools, not the sea where they can easily be swept out. If you do use them at the beach, then:

  • ensure children are closely supervised
  • keep near the shore

  • only use between the red and yellow beach flags

  • follow the lifeguard’s advice

  • do not take inflatables out in big waves

  • never use them when the orange windsock is flying, as this indicates offshore winds which will blow inflatables further out to sea

  • if you do get into difficulty, then stay with your inflatable as it will keep you above the water.

For more information and safety tips, please visit: www.RNLI.org/RespectTheWater

RNLI Picture caption

The photograph shows from (left to right) RNLI Lifeguards: Joe Wilson, Tom Hughes, Andrew Brown and Adam Blenkinsop. Credit RNLI/Lily Humphries.

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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