RNLI lifeguards and lifeboat crew to be awarded for brave Ceredigion rescue
Three RNLI lifeguards from Ceredigion have been recognised with a bravery award for saving the lives of a man and his 10-year-old son. With assistance from Cardigan and New Quay RNLI lifeboats, the lifeguards rescued the two kayakers who were caught in a strong offshore wind and swept out to sea.
For their brave actions during the rescue, the three lifeguards are to receive the prestigious Alison Saunders award, which is awarded each year to recognise the skill and bravery of lifeguards.
The pair of kayakers were rescued at Tresaith last September, having capsized 800m offshore in strong winds and bad sea conditions. Seasonal RNLI Supervisor Sam Bailey and RNLI Lifeguard Macsen Mather demonstrated remarkable courage and selflessness in entering the water, in the full knowledge that they would not be able to return to the shore unassisted, due to the wind and sea state. They were well aware they would be spending a prolonged period of time in the water in cold conditions.
Senior lifeguard Lowri Davies remained ashore to co-ordinate the rescue with HM Coastguard, who requested that both New Quay all-weather lifeboat and Cardigan inshore RNLI lifeboat launch to support the lifeguards. Despite it being her first season as a senior lifeguard, Lowri executed her role with confidence and assurance, managing communications between lifeguards, lifeboats, and HM Coastguard, and offering reassurance to her colleagues in the water throughout the rescue.
Having reached the kayakers, Sam and Macsen used their rescue boards to secure the casualties out of the water in order to keep them safe until the lifeboats arrived to recover the whole group.
By the time New Quay and Cardigan lifeboats arrived at Tresaith, the group had drifted over 1.5 miles out to sea. Cardigan RNLI volunteer crew transported the group to shore where the casualties received further medical attention from HM Coastguard for the effects of the cold. Both lifeboat crews will receive a letter from the RNLI’s Chairman for their part in the rescue.
Roger Smith, RNLI Area Lifesaving Manager says:
‘This rescue was a superb team effort, with RNLI lifeboat crews launching in direct support of their lifeguard colleagues. We are massively proud of our lifeguards, who showed great bravery and resolve during this rescue. They entered the water to save lives, in the full knowledge that they would be unable to return to shore unaided, trusting our lifeboats to back them up. The awards recognise their collective courage and professionalism. Working together, our team saved two people from drowning that day.’
Notes to Editors
RNLI Media Opportunity: RNLI lifeguards who are to receive bravery awards are to be visited by Adrian Carey, RNLI Head of Maritime Delivery and congratulated for their skill and bravery.
Where: Poppit Sands, RNLI lifeguard unit, Cardigan.
When: Wednesday 4 August at 3.30 pm.
Bilingual interviews will be available. Please register your intention to attend by calling Danielle Rush on 07786 668829.
The bravery and skill of lifeguards is recognised each year by the Alison Saunders Lifeguarding Award, sponsored by the retired RNLI Deputy Chair Alison Saunders MBE. An awards ceremony will be arranged at a later date.
RNLI media contacts
For more information please contact Maddy Wright, RNLI Media Engagement Placement in Wales and the North West on 07929 659684 or at firstname.lastname@example.org or Danielle Rush, RNLI Media Manager for Wales and the North West on 07786 668829 the RNLI Press Office on 01202 336789.
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 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.