Off-duty RNLI lifeguards rescue teenager at Seaburn beach in multi-agency call

Lifeguards News Release

RNLI lifeguards rescued a teenage girl today (Tuesday 7 July) who was struggling in strong waves at Seaburn beach.


RNLI lifeguards Chris Trotter and Aaron Curle

At around 9.45am the charity’s lifeguards were heading down the steps to the beach ahead of their daily patrols (which start at 10am). They spotted a group of people on the sand and what looked like a ball bobbing in the sea.

As they got nearer, they realised that it was in fact a person in difficulty. The girl’s three friends had managed to get out of the sea and had got a life ring which a man had then tried to take out to the 15-year-old.

RNLI senior lifeguard Aaron Curle and fellow lifeguards Chris Trotter and Aidan Mitchell immediately swung into action and asked a member of the public to raise the alarm by calling the Coastguard and an ambulance.

Aaron then dashed into to sea and swam out through the breaking waves. On reaching the man with the life ring, he grabbed this aid, after ensuring the man was able to get out of the water safely.

On reaching the girl, Aaron realised she was in great difficulty and was struggling to keep her face out of the water. He advised her to float on her back and adopt the FLOAT TO LIVE position* and then managed to tow her back to the shore with the life ring.

He was met by his fellow lifeguards and performed a casualty care check on the teenager and wrapped her in blankets.

The local Coastguard team then performed further first-aid checks and provided extra blankets before the girl was handed over into the care of paramedics.

RNLI senior lifeguard, Aaron Curle said: ‘There were some big waves at Seaburn today and, after initially thinking it was a ball in the water, we quickly swung into action to rescue the teenager.

‘She was really struggling to keep her head above water after losing her footing and being swept out. On occasions like this, our charity’s comprehensive lifeguard training really kicks in. We’re so pleased we were able to rescue the girl and bring her to safety.

‘It was a real team effort today and I’d like to thank the member of the public who raised the alarm, the man who swam out with the life ring and the Coastguards and Paramedics.’

For RNLI beach safety advice, please visit:

RNLI Notes to editors

*A link to the RNLI’s FLOAT TO LIVE advice:

* RNLI lifeguard patrols are operating on the following beaches in Tyne and Wear: Roker, King Edwards Bay, Cullercoats, Whitley Bay, Whitley Bay North Longsands, Sandhaven and Seaburn.

RNLI Picture caption

The photograph shows (from left to right) RNLI lifeguards Chris Trotter and Aaron Curle. 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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