Lyme Regis RNLI lifeguards rescue boy found unresponsive in the water
RNLI lifeguards in Lyme Regis were alerted to a boy who was having a seizure in the water whilst bodyboarding on Sunday (23 August). The casualty was floating face down in the water but was breathing.
Whilst on routine water patrols at Lyme Regis beach on Sunday, a member of the public alerted the RNLI lifeguards to his grandson who was in significant difficulty in the water. This was at the same time RNLI lifeguard, Simon Davis recognised the severity of the situation and ran into the water immediately managing the casualty’s airway and requesting prompt assistance from the beach lifeguard unit.
The casualty was initially unresponsive, but breathing, however, due to him being face down in the water it is possible he would have swallowed a lot of water. Simon, along with members of the public, recovered the casualty from the water.
RNLI senior lifeguard, Ben Greenslade, ran down to the shoreline with the crash bag and Simon immediately administered oxygen and put the casualty in the recovery position to help maintain his airway. At the same time Lyme Regis lifeboat chairman volunteer, Mark Houghton phoned for an ambulance and took the spinal board to their location.
Ben was communicating with Solent Coastguard as well as managing the busy beach, taking down the red and yellow flags. He made a public announcement that they were temporarily closing the beach and encouraged everybody to vacate the water. Whilst Simon was treating the casualty, Mark also assisted the lifeguards and helped clear the beach for the air ambulance to land.
Both the air and land ambulance arrived at the scene and with assistance from the local council Beach Attendant and Deputy Harbour Master, kept the beach clear. The casualty was then transported on the spinal board to the land ambulance.
Lyme Regis Coastguard also responded after the air ambulance had left the scene and were able to clear a route for the land ambulance to make their way to hospital.
The boy was now stable and transferred to the care of the critical care air ambulance doctor.
Lifeguard supervisor, Dominik Fajkiel says,
‘Rescues of this nature highlight the importance of swimming at a lifeguarded beach and keeping an eye on your family. If it wasn’t for the lifeguard’s quick reaction on Sunday, the outcome could have been totally different.
‘It doesn’t take a lot of water to get into your lungs before it becomes critical. Luckily we had help from the nearby Lyme Regis Lifeboat chairman Mark, who is kindly helping our lifeguards at weekends, along with members of the public.
‘All of the tasks involved during this rescue are vital – including providing casualty care, moving the casualty, requesting other emergency services, and clearing the beach for the air ambulance to land safely. Alongside making sure the rest of the beach is not neglected, this is not an easy task on a busy summer’s day. We are extremely proud of all involved, including the people who volunteered their time to help.’
Notes to editors
- Please find attached photos of Lyme Regis RNLI lifeguards Ben and Simon alongside volunteer Lyme Regis lifeboat chairman, Mark Houghton
- For beaches that are currently lifeguarded visit: https://rnli.org/find-my-nearest/beaches-with-lifeguards-on-patrol
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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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