RNLI Lifeguards at Hastings teach swimmers to Respect the Water
Most people think of a day out at the beach with friends and family as a lovely escape from city life or the cares of their jobs. The sea looks innocent and sparkling in the sun but it has many other faces. Tranquil waters can turn in an instant and changing tides can often catch people out.
Waves are an unstoppable force - at least until they break. The ones that dump you will knock you off your feet and pull you out. The RNLI Lifeguard’s training is of the highest standard and this weekend at Hastings it was put to the test in three different incidents.
James Blything was on duty at Pelham, part of the Hastings beach between the Pier and the Harbour arm. A group of students from France arrived with their teacher to swim at the beach. The teacher approached the lifeguards and asked for advice. He was told that they should swim between the flags. James was not sure just how strong swimmers they were so he took preventative action and went out on his board about twenty metres off the shore and kept an eye on them. He noticed that one of the female swimmers looked to be in trouble and he went over and got her onto his board. She was taken back into shore safely and was very grateful for James’s assistance.
His quick response to the swimmer saved a youngster from getting into distress.
Further up the beach at St Leonard’s, Archie Connor and Laurence Pettit were also on duty this weekend. They proactively gave tips for safety in the water as people arrived including being aware of not getting too near the groynes as the waves were pushing people in an easterly direction. Once again the swimmers were reminded to swim between the warning flags. Archie’s attention was soon drawn to an elderly couple who were out swimming but being dragged towards the groynes so he went in with his rescue tube and helped the gentleman ashore, the lady having got to safety on her own. The waves were stronger than they had anticipated and they realised they were not as experienced as they had first thought.
Laurence commented that a great deal of their job is preventative and educational, giving safety tips and advising beachgoers about the currents and the tides. He assisted a young lady who had been swept out of her depth and was getting anxious. He used his rescue tube and brought her safely to shore. She was very grateful for his swift help.
The lifeguards are highly-trained and are putting their skills into practice everyday.
The RNLI advises beach-goers who are entering the sea to know their limits both physically and in terms of their experience. The message that everyone should keep foremost in their minds when visiting the beach is to Respect the Water
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The Royal National Lifeboat Institution is the charity that saves lives at sea. Our volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service in the United Kingdom and Ireland from 237 lifeboat stations, including four along the River Thames and inland lifeboat stations at Loch Ness, Lough Derg, Enniskillen and Lough Ree. Additionally the RNLI has more than 1,000 lifeguards on over 180 beaches around the UK and operates a specialist flood rescue team, which can respond anywhere across the UK and Ireland when inland flooding puts lives at risk.
The RNLI relies on public donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. As a charity it is separate from, but works alongside, government-controlled and funded coastguard services. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824 our lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved at least 140,000 lives. Volunteers make up 95% of the charity, including 4,600 volunteer lifeboat crew members and 3,000 volunteer shore crew. Additionally, tens of thousands of other dedicated volunteers raise funds and awareness, give safety advice, and help in our museums, shops and offices.Learn more about the RNLI
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The RNLI is a charity registered in England and Wales (209603) and Scotland (SC037736). Charity number 20003326 in the Republic of Ireland.
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.
Learn more about the RNLI
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