Multiple rescues for RNLI lifeguards in North Yorkshire

Lifeguards News Release

RNLI lifeguards in North Yorkshire have been kept very busy this week with people getting into difficulty in strong offshore winds.


Library photo of RNLI lifeguards at Whitby

At Sandsend on Wednesday morning (5 August), Senior RNLI Lifeguard Rob Stephenson spotted an inflatable dingy with four children onboard. As it was outside the safe swim zone, he approached the parents to advise them of the strong offshore winds.

In increasing winds, the dingy was quickly blown out to sea. RNLI lifeguard Owen Robson was tasked to respond by rescue board to reach the children who were aged between 10-13 years.

Rob then requested the launch of the Whitby Rescue Water Craft (RWC) which was launched and on scene in three minutes. It was able to return the children two at a time safely to shore.

Meanwhile, fellow lifeguard Ben Garrett patrolled the busy red and yellow flag zone, keeping bathers safe.

Later in the day, the charity’s lifeguards at Whitby were alerted to a family who were thought to be cut off by the tide to the south of the town.

Lifeguard Ben Botham contacted the Coastguard to request further details and senior lifeguard Sam Broadley launched the RWC to investigate. He was then able to advise and reassure the panicked group of four, one of whom had a serious medical condition, whilst relaying information to the local Coastguard team on the cliff above.

Whitby RNLI’s inshore lifeboat was also deployed and both craft were used to get the group back to shore safely. During the incident, lifeguards Oli Shaw and Kelly Bowler managed the busy beach and red and yellow flagged swim zone

RNLI lifeguards at Filey then rescued two children who had been blown offshore in an inflatable.

Senior lifeguard, Sapphire Thraves alerted her colleague Miles Lanson to the casualties and he was able to rescue both 11-year-olds and reunited them with their family. Ceri Boddy was managing both the swim zone and the busy beach throughout the rescue.

RNLI Lifeguard Supervisor, James Turner, said: ‘Our lifeguards have worked extremely hard this week and I’m really proud of them. Without their seamless teamwork and swift actions, the individuals in difficulty wouldn’t have been able to get themselves out of danger and there could have been very different outcomes. It was also great to work with our colleagues from Whitby RNLI.’

Ahead of what is likely to be a busy weekend, James added: ‘We’d urge people to visit a lifeguarded beach, to swim between the red and yellow flags and leave inflatables at home. These items are designed for pools, not the sea where they can easily be swept out.’

For RNLI beach safety advice, please visit:

RNLI Picture caption

The RNLI library photograph (taken before COVID-19 restrictions) shows from left to right RNLI lifeguards Ben Botham, Kelly Bowler, Oli Shaw and Sam Broadley. Credit: RNLI.

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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 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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