RNLI lifeguards on Langland beach used their RNLI training and great team work skills to carry out a mass rescue on Thursday 15 August.
After a few weeks of bad weather in Swansea, Thursday saw quite a change, with no rain, and blue skies, which brought the crowds to Langland beach. However although the weather was dry and pleasant, there was wind, and the seas rip current was running strong.
It is seventeen year old lifeguard Tom Henderson’s first season on the beaches, and he got the opportunity to put his training into practice on Langland beach yesterday.
Firstly, while Tom was on the beach patrolling between the flags, he spotted two young swimmers struggling in a rip current and paddled out on the rescue board to assist them. As he began to make his way back to shore with the two casualties, Tom spotted a father and daughter in distress back in the rip current.
This proves how quickly things can change, as minutes before when Tom went out to rescue the first two casualties, the father and daughter were safely enjoying the sea away from the rip. But the current is unpredictable, and can change instantly, which is why it’s important to stay aware of your surroundings.
Tom passed the first two casualties over to Senior lifeguard Key Hennah who swam out with a rescue tube and made his way over to the father and daughter caught in the rip current. Lifeguard Nathaniel Palla also paddled out to the rip on his rescue board and he and Tom each took a casualty back to the safety of the beach.
When back on shore, all casualties were checked over by the lifeguards, who are Casualty Care trained, and they were found to be safe and well with no need for further medical attention.
The events at Langland proved how efficiently the lifeguards can work under pressure, and the importance of working as a team. Whilst Tom, Key and Nathaniel were rescuing casualties from the seas strong current, lifeguard Elliot Rees remained on watch from the beach and handled communications, making sure that the beach wasn’t left unsupervised.
Swansea Lifeguard Supervisor Jessica Gates said: ‘The rescues were an awesome team effort and an example of how quickly someone can get swept out in a strong rip. Remember to always stay well within your depth and swim between the red and yellow flags.’
The RNLI advises the public to always visit a lifeguarded beach, where trained professionals patrol the beach, assess the weather and sea conditions and advise the public accordingly.
RNLI media contacts:
Katie Lewis: Media Engagement Placement, Wales and West at Katie_lewis@rnli.org.uk or alternatively Eleri Roberts, Media Engagement Officer on 07771941390 or at Eleri_roberts@rnli.org.uk
Notes to editors:
As RNLI lifeguards need to be physically on the beach during the patrolled hours, ready to respond to emergencies and prevent accidents, the RNLI can’t rely on volunteers to provide this cover seven days a week. Local authorities part fund the RNLI’s costs, which helps to meet the cost of lifeguard wages.
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, 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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Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries
Members of the public may contact the RNLI on 0300 300 9990 (UK) or 1800 991802 (Ireland) or by email.