RNLI lifeguards help father and son caught in breaking waves at Whitley Bay
RNLI lifeguards at Whitley Bay South beach sprang into action over the bank holiday weekend when they spotted a man and his son struggling in breaking waves.
RNLI lifeguard Tom Curtis was keeping a watchful eye over the beach during Sunday 30 August when he noticed two people in difficulty in the water between the red and yellow flags.
Tom immediately entered the sea on his paddleboard, while fellow lifeguard Matthew Morley took over patrolling the beach.
On reaching the scene, thankfully the father was okay, but his nine-year-old son was starting to panic owing to the increasing waves, and he was getting out of his depth.
Tom plucked the boy from the sea and placed him on the charity’s paddleboard and paddled him back to the beach. The father was able to swim in alongside them.
Tom and Matthew then performed casualty care checks on the pair. They ascertained that neither had sustained an injury or had swallowed any water.
Tom explained: ‘The father and son did everything right, they chose a lifeguarded beach and were swimming between the red and yellow flags. This meant that I was immediately able to spot that they were in difficultly and get to them quickly.
‘The lad had started to panic and was being pulled out of his depth. Luckily, I got to him in time and managed to keep him calm and bring him back to the safety of the beach.
Tom added: ‘In situations such as this, our charity’s comprehensive training really kicks in and we’re so pleased we were able to help the boy. A member of his family later got in touch and thanked us for being so ‘eagle-eyed’ and for our ‘brilliant work – this really made our day!’
For RNLI beach safety advice, please visit: https://rnli.org/safety/beach-safety
RNLI Picture caption
The photograph shows (from left to right), RNLI Lifeguards Matthew Morley and Tom Curtis. Credit: RNLI.
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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.