Seahouses RNLI in multi-agency call to swimmers in difficulty off Bamburgh Beach

Lifeboats News Release

At 3:38pm on Thursday 20 August, the UK Coastguard received 999 calls reporting several swimmers in the water off Bamburgh Beach, level with the Links Carpark, calling for help. The swimmers were struggling owing to the strong currents.

The Seahouses inshore lifeboat was called out and quickly launched. One male swimmer had already come ashore, and the remaining two swimmers had managed to get back towards the shore, and were wading through breaking surf.

Two members of the inshore lifeboat crew went into the water, to help the two casualties to get ashore safely, while the inshore lifeboat landed on the beach. Local Coastguard teams from Seahouses, Berwick and Howick had also been mobilised to the scene.

Working with their Coastguard colleagues, the lifeboat crew assessed the casualties, and there was concern for the condition of the female who was given oxygen at the scene.

An ambulance was called. After being stabilised and assessed by the paramedics, her friend and an off-duty nurse agreed to take her to hospital as a precautionary measure. The casualty was on holiday from the Canterbury area.

The inshore lifeboat was then released and returned to station.

A Coastguard Rescue Helicopter from Prestwick had also been scrambled, but stood down once the casualties were safely ashore.

Seahouses RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manger Ian Clayton commented: 'We are increasingly concerned by the number of similar incidents, probably enhanced by Staycations. The North Sea can be a dangerous place for the unwary, and we urge everyone to keep close to shore when swimming in the sea. Further out there are strong currents sweeping along the shore, and the cold water temperature can catch out the unwary.

'If you are in trouble, lie on your back, limbs outstretched and float. Wave your arms and call for help. Anyone seeing someone who may be in trouble, should call 999 and ask for the Coastguard as quickly as possible.'

RNLI Media contacts

For more information please contact Ian Clayton, RNLI Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer on: 07981 069177.

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, 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.

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