RNLI lifeguard supervisor attends to surfer with broken leg on Fistral beach

Lifeguards News Release

On Thursday 26 November it was blue skies and good surf at Fistral beach, Newquay, when RNLI lifeguard supervisor Andy Thomas stopped by for a routine check - but within minutes he was dealing with a major first aid incident alongside the Newquay Coastguard team and Ambulance service.

RNLI/Lewis Timson

The casualty being treated in the lifeguard facility

RNLI lifeguard supervisor Andy Thomas had just pulled up at Fistral beach to do a routine check of the lifeguard facility when he was approached by a member of the public, alerting him to a surfer who had just sustained a serious injury.

Andy grabbed the First Responder Bag from the lifeguard vehicle and headed to the casualty at the water’s edge. The young woman had been surfing when her leg collided with her board, resulting in broken bones and severe pain. Members of the public had managed to help her get back to the shallows.

Along with members of the public, they moved the casualty up the beach and into the shelter of the lifeguard facility to be out of the cold elements. Andy carried out a casualty care assessment, administered pain relief and reassured her. He also contacted Lead Supervisor Lewis Timson to bring additional pain relief to the scene as the casualty’s pain was so severe.

15 minutes after Andy arrived, the Coastguard team were on scene – including a paramedic who could take over treatment until the land ambulance arrived to transfer the casualty to hospital.

Andy Thomas, the RNLI lifeguard supervisor involved, said:

‘This was one of those incidents that you cannot predict, she was a competent surfer and didn’t do anything wrong but unfortunately sustained an incredibly painful injury.

‘The lifeguard season has finished for the year so if you see someone in trouble please remember to call 999 and ask for the Coastguard. It was lucky that in this case I just happened to stop by.’

Notes to editors

Photos attached – credit Lewis Timson.

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For more information please contact Marianne Quinn, Regional Media Officer on 07786 668847 or Marianne_quinn@rnli.org.uk, or contact the RNLI Press Office on 01202 336789.

RNLI/Lewis Timson

The casualty being treated in the lifeguard facility

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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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