RNLI Sandhaven lifeguards complete two simultaneous rescues

Lifeguards News Release

The RNLI Sandhaven (Mowbray) lifeguards started off the UK summer heatwave with two back-to-back rescues on Saturday 17 July.

Two people in wet suits with red lifejackets that say RNLI Lifeguard on them sit on an orange rescue boat in the sea.

RNLI/Derry Salter

RNLI Lifeguards launch the inshore rescue boat

At 2:55pm, the RNLI Sandhaven team were alerted of a young boy who had been blown out to sea in a toy inflatable. The child’s parents had dialled 999 and asked for the UK Coastguard who radioed the lifeguards. The boy, age 12, was swept over 200m away from the shore by a strong offshore wind in the toy inflatable.

Senior lifeguard Feargus Scherczer assisted by lifeguard Thomas Spencer started up the inshore rescue boat. However, on route to the young boy, the team of two were radioed by the lifeguards on the beach informing them of a 36-year-old man who had been swept out to sea.

After assessing the situation of the young boy, who remained calm in the inflatable, the two lifeguards responded to the man immediately. The casualty was over 350m offshore near the end of the pier and was close to drowning – unlike the young boy, he had no watercraft to hold onto.

The team pulled the man onto the inshore rescue boat before another lifeguard transported him on the rescue board back to shore, where he received medical attention.

The lifeguards then returned to the boy who was sitting on the inflatable, before taking him ashore. The boy underwent a series of medical checks after he swallowed some water. However, the boy remained uninjured and was reunited with his awaiting parents.

Senior Lifeguard Feargus Scherzer congratulated the young boy’s calmness during the incident: ‘It was essential that he remained calm, his cooperation with the lifeguards meant that we could safely reunite him with his parents.

'The parents’ instinct to phone 999 and ask for the Coastguard meant that our lifeguard team were quickly alerted of the incident.’

When visiting an RNLI lifeguarded beach this summer, it is advised that toy inflatables are not used in the water, with the wind easily drifting them out to sea.

Feargus also spoke about his team’s decision making during the rescue: ‘It was a difficult but split-second decision. The young boy had an inflatable and was in a stable condition, where as the man was declining rapidly.

'Luckily, both were swimming between the red and yellow flags directly so we could see them immediately.

'If you are visiting one of our lifeguarded beaches, make sure to swim between the red and yellow flags and dial 999 for the Coastguard if you are in any trouble.'

For more safety information, please visit: Beach Safety – Advice And Tips To Keep You Safe At The Beach (rnli.org)

Notes to editors

RNLI Sandhaven (Mowbray) 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

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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 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.

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