RNLI Sandhaven lifeguards rescue father swept out to sea

Lifeguards News Release

On Saturday 28 August, the RNLI lifeguard team partnered up with a nearby surfer to rescue a man who was dragged out to sea and became stuck in a flash rip at Sandhaven beach.

Two people guide a small orange boat into the water. The boat says 'Beach lifeguards' and has the RNLI symbol next to it.

RNLI/Derry Salter

RNLI Inshore Rescue Boat

At around 4:30pm, the on-duty lifeguards noticed a man in his 30s playing with his young daughter in the water in between the red and yellow flags. He was playing on the sandbanks and was dragged out to sea, ending up over 150m from the shore.

A member of the Sandhaven team on a 4x4 noticed that the man was struggling in a flash rip so immediately requested for the inshore rescue boat (IRB). Luckily, a member of the public was surfing nearby and spotted the casualty. The surfer pulled the man onto the surfboard to keep him afloat as he was struggling.

Straight after, Finn Scherczer and Alex Gwynn reached the casualty in the IRB where they found him to be very weak and exhausted. The team thanked the surfer and took the casualty back to shore where he underwent a series of medical checks.

After discovering the man suffered from asthma, an ambulance was called. Luckily, the casualty appeared to be in a stable condition and did not sustain any serious injuries.

Lead Lifeguard Supervisor Sean Mills thanked the unknown surfer for his assistance whilst also warning of the dangers of rip currents: ‘It is great that the man and his daughter decided to visit a lifeguarded beach as it meant our lifeguards instantly spotted him as soon as he found himself in trouble.

'Flash rips are unpredictable and dangerous; fighting the current will only exhaust you. Stay calm and wait for assistance.’

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 Sandhaven lifeguard service has been operating since 2001. To learn more about the lifeguarded beach go to: https://rnli.org/find-my-nearest/lifeguarded-beaches/sandhaven-mowbray-beach

Lead Lifeguard Supervisor Sean Mills is available for interview.

Photo Credit

RNLI/Derry Salter

RNLI media contacts

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

Or, the RNLI Press Office available 24/7 on 01202 336789 PressOffice@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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