Thanet and Swale RNLI Lifeguards have a busy start to the summer
Although better known for rescuing swimmers in trouble, RNLI lifeguards in Kent have hit the beach running this year with two medical incidents on dry land.
Late in the afternoon of 25 May, members of the public on Leysdown Beach alerted lifeguards there to a woman who became uncommunicative. After calling an ambulance, the team put their casualty care training into action and administered first aid until the woman began to respond, and they were able to hand her over to the care of ambulance service colleagues.
A week later on the beach at Ramsgate, another lifeguard team was told of a young boy who was feeling unwell. While they were conducting their initial checks, the young boy lost consciousness and the lifeguards applied oxygen as trained until he began to respond. Again, ambulance colleagues arrived and were able to take over care of the casualty.
Lucy-Jane MacGowan, RNLI Lead Lifeguard Supervisor for the Kent beaches, said, “Although fitness and swimming ability are core skills for lifeguards, we place great emphasis on casualty care during our pre-season training. Our lifeguards are often the first responders to those who become unwell on the beach, and if they’re able to reassure them, and to keep them stable until medical care arrives, they can save a life.
“I’m very proud of our lifeguards to have made such a difference to two people so early in the season. As we move into summer, we’d encourage everyone to visit a lifeguarded beach if at all possible, to swim between the flags, and to let the lifeguards know if they, or anyone else they see, is in trouble.”
Notes to editors
The attached photos show Sam and Maddie, RNLI lifeguards who operate in the Thanet area. Credit RNLI/Lucy Macgowan
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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.