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RNLI lifeguards and lifeboat assist with diving boat in Roker

Lifeguards News Release

At 2pm on Friday 19 July lifeguards intercepted a distress call from a diving boat that got into difficulty after the engine broke down.

RNLI/Sam Surtees

RNLI Lifeguards Chris Trotter, Adam Blenkinsop

Lifeguards patrolling Roker beach overheard the radio call for help from the boat to the Coastguard and contacted the Coastguard who asked for their assistance. The engine on the diving boat had failed and the boat had begun drifting in the wind. At the time of the incident two divers were in the water and two people were on the boat.

Lifeguard Chris Trotter launched the Rescue Water Craft (RWC) and arrived on scene in no time at all. Upon arrival the two divers had surfaced, Chris was able to pull them onto the RWC and return them to the diver’s boat. Both the divers and the people on the boat were fine and in good spirits. Chris stayed on scene until Sunderland RNLI Lifeboat arrived and towed the diving boat back to the yacht club. The lifeboat then returned to the station.

Other RNLI lifeguards on duty (Adam Blenkinsop and Aidan M) also assisted from the shore. Adam was responsible for coordinating the rescue and liasing between the Coastguard and the lifeboat whilst Aidan kept an eye on the beach ensuring beachgoers were safe.

RNLI Roker Senior Lifeguard Adam Blenkinsop said: ‘This incident is a great example of how important it is to use VHF Radio when you’re out at sea. If this boat hadn’t been using a radio and had used a mobile phone for example, we never would’ve picked up their call and wouldn’t have been able to reach them as quickly as we did.

‘We would like to thank the crew onboard the RNLI Lifeboat who arrived promptly and assisted us with the rescue. This rescue is a great example of how lifeguards and lifeboats work together.’

Notes to editors

  • The RNLI is the charity that 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.
  • 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.

RNLI Media Contact

For more information contact:

Kate Driver, RNLI Regional Media Engagement on 07486 872956 or email at kate_driver@rnli.org.uk

Clare Hopps, RNLI Regional Media Officer on 07824 518641 or email at clare_hopps@rnli.org.uk

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.

Learn more about the RNLI

For more information please visit the RNLI website or Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. News releases, videos and photos are available on the News Centre.

Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries

Members of the public may contact the RNLI on 0300 300 9990 (UK) or 1800 991802 (Ireland) or or by email.

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