Longsands RNLI lifeguards rescue family stuck in a rip

Lifeguards News Release

On Thursday 26 August, RNLI lifeguards assisted a family who were swept into a rip as a result of bad weather conditions at Longsands beach.

A man with dark hair and a beard stands on a sandy beach in front of the sea. He is wearing a yellow RNLI long sleeve top with sunglasses and a red pair of shorts. Next to him is a red and yellow flag

RNLI/Derry Salter

RNLI Senior Lifeguard Will Hogg

At around 12pm, the majority of the RNLI Longsands team were undertaking some training as the beach was rather quiet. However, Senior Lifeguard Will Hogg quickly noticed three people on surf boards get dragged out to sea by the strong offshore wind.

The two parents and their young child instantly became trapped in a rip current and swept out of the designated swim zone.

Will enlisted the help of newbie Matthew Ormston and the duo grabbed their rescue boards. When the charity’s lifeguards reached the family of three, they were all holding onto their surfboards instead of trying to escape the rip.

Matthew and Will assisted the trio around the rip and safely back to shore. Luckily, none of the casualties had sustained any injuries so no medical attention was required.

Lead Lifeguard Supervisor Sean Mills congratulated the family for following the RNLI’s safety advice: ‘The family very sensibly held onto their surfboards and remained calm until our lifeguard team reached them. It was vital that they didn’t exhaust themselves by fighting the rip.

They followed our Float to Live advice perfectly and this really made a difference.’

If you find yourself stuck in a rip current, follow our Float to Live advice:

· Fight your instinct to thrash around

· Lean back, extend your arms and legs

· If you need to gently move them around to help you float

· Float until you can control your breathing

· Only then call for help or swim to safety

For more information please visit: https://rnli.org/safety/know-the-risks/rip-currents

Notes to editors

RNLI Longsands lifeguard service has been operating since 2001. To learn more about the lifeguarded beach go to: Tynemouth Longsands Beach - Lifeguarded beaches (rnli.org)

Lead Lifeguard Supervisor Sean Mills is available for interview.

Photo Credit

RNLI/Derry Salter.

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For more information please contact Derry Salter, RNLI Media Engagement Placement on: 07929 673281 or email: derry_salter@rnli.org.uk

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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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