RNLI lifeguard rescues man from rip current at Lowestoft
An RNLI lifeguard assisted a 70-year-old man back to shore after he became stuck in a rip current at Lowestoft North beach.
After a quiet start to Wednesday 7 July, RNLI lifeguard Harrison Blowers spotted the man swimming near the groynes – a prime location for rip currents to occur. Harrison moved himself and his rescue board further down the beach away from the possible rip so that he could enter the water quickly.
Although the man appeared to be a strong swimmer, the lifeguard noticed him begin to struggle as he swam against the rip current. Harrison entered the water quickly with his rescue board. The casualty remained calm and lifted his hand in the air so that Harrison could clearly see him.
Using his years of local knowledge and experience of working on the beach, Harrison paddled further out to sea instead of fighting the current. This allowed him to swim out of the current and round the groynes, bringing the casualty to the other side of the beach.
Once ashore, lifeguards Daniel Bedwell and Alfie Woodcraft helped the man out of the water. The team undertook a series of medical checks and found the man to have sustained a few scratches from the groynes but no serious injuries.
The next day, the casualty returned to Lowestoft North beach and thanked the RNLI team with a box of chocolates.
RNLI lifeguard Harrison Blowers praised the man’s calmness during the incident: ‘Although people’s natural instinct is to swim towards the shore, not fighting the current is essential. Follow our Float to Live advice and when you can, call for help.
‘Only if you’re able to, swim parallel to the shore so as to not wear yourself out. You will soon feel the effect of the rip current reduce, allowing you to make it back. In this instance, the casualty’s calmness was important in allowing me to get him back to shore safely.’
If you find yourself stuck in a rip current, stay calm and follow the RNLI’s Float to Live advice:
· Fight your instinct the 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 Lowestoft North lifeguards have been operating since 2001. To learn more about the lifeguarded beach go to: https://rnli.org/find-my-nearest/lifeguarded-beaches/lowestoft-north-beach
RNLI Lead Lifeguard Supervisor Ted Morgan is available to interview.
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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.