Lifeguards patrolling Langland Bay beach on Thursday 25 July had their busiest day of the season and stayed on the beach two hours after the end of their patrol to keep the public safe.
There was a very large swell in the water, with rip currents pulling people out to sea. RNLI lifeguards dropped the red and yellow flags at around 5pm and replaced them with red flags, signalling that it was no longer safe enough to enter the water.
When the lifeguards weren’t in the water, they were giving water safety advice and educating the public on the dangerous sea conditions.
At around 6:20pm, lifeguards spotted a woman struggling to swim in the strong current against the powerful waves. She was around 150 metres out from the shore and was caught in a rip current.
Lifeguard Supervisor Tom John quickly went out to the casualty on his board, carrying a lifeguard tube, and found her unresponsive.
Tom, then joined by lifeguard Dan Pearson, took her back to the beach on his board and delivered casualty care. The casualty was quite scared and had swallowed a lot of sea water, and was referred for further medical attention.
Langland Bay beach is a lifeguarded beach, with trained professionals patrolling from 10am to 6pm every day during the summer.
Another RNLI lifeguard joined the busy patrol at Langland Bay beach after finishing his shift at Caswell beach, and was one of the five lifeguards who remained on the beach until 8pm. Between the hours of 6:45pm and 7:45pm the RNLI lifeguards assisted four members of the public who were getting into difficulty in the sea.
Lifeguard Supervisor and Community Safety Officer Tom John said, ‘We don’t usually get a large swell like this during the summer months, and it has caused strong currents that can take swimmers by surprise. We advise the public not to enter the water when the red flags are flying, as it is too dangerous, and can lead to serious incidents.’
With the forecast promising more good weather this weekend, and lots of people wanting to cool off in the sea, the public are advised to visit lifeguarded beaches. RNLI lifeguards patrol 240 beaches around the UK and Channel Islands each summer, and you can find your nearest here:
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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 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.