RNLI lifeguards involved in multi-agency rescue of young girl off Seaburn beach

Lifeguards News Release

On Thursday 25 July a multi-agency rescue got underway after reports of two young girls shouting for help after getting into difficulty in the water.


RNLI Lifeguards involved in the rescue

At approximately 4:50pm the Coastguard alerted lifeguards to two young girls shouting for help offshore from Whitburn beach which is outside of the lifeguard patrol area.

Lifeguards Kieron Barraclough and Joe Promfret leapt into action and headed towards the direction of the distressed girls. Lifeguard Tom Hughes followed with a trauma bag. Joe swam out towards the reported direction and Joe assisted on the rescue board.

The charity’s Rescue Water Craft (RWC) was also launched by Lifeguards Adam Blenkinsop and Sam Surtees. A massive search of the area was carried out to find the young girls. Speaking to those on the beach who reported the girls, they informed lifeguards that a member of the public had managed to retrieve one girl from the water.

Lifeguards from the shore spotted the second girl floating calmly on her back approximately 200m from shore and informed the lifeguards involved in the search.

The lifeguards picked up the girl and brought her back to Seaburn beach to be assessed. An ambulance was waiting to assist when they arrived back on shore.

RNLI Sunderland lifeboat was also involved in the search and assisted lifeguards. Jen Surtess from the LOC (Lifeguards Operations Centre) ran communications between the lifeguards, lifeboat and Coastguard.

RNLI Lifeguard Supervisor Sandy Kerr said: ‘The young girls were obviously well educated on what to do if they got into difficulty in the water. If the second girl hadn’t followed the RNLI’s float to live advice the outcome of this incident could’ve been very different. We’re very thankful to all involved in the rescue and it’s a great example of the teamwork we carry out on a daily basis.

‘At this time we’d like to remind people how important it is to swim between the red and yellow flags and to visit a lifeguarded beach. The young girls got caught in a rip current and the RNLI’s advice if you find yourself in this situation is to swim diagonal to the beach and to not swim against the current.’

More information on the Respect the Water campaign can be found at https://respectthewater.com

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.

RNLI Media Contacts

For more information contact:

Kate Driver, RNLI Regional Media Engagement on 07486872956 or email at kate_driver@rnli.org.uk

Clare Hopps, RNLI Regional Media Officer on 07824518641 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 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.