Towan RNLI Lifeguards treat 7-year-old boy pulled unconscious from the sea

Lifeguards News Release

On Tuesday 1 June at 11:20am Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) lifeguards in Towan were alerted to a young boy who was unconscious and barely breathing after he had been pulled from the water by his father.

RNLI/Claire Fitzpatrick-Smith

RNLI lifeguard Sonny Timson and Lifeguard Supervisor Andy Thomas

A member of the public alerted the lifeguards after witnessing a man pull his son from the water in a part of the beach out of sight from the lifeguards. Responding immediately, RNLI lifeguard Sonny Timson along with Lifeguard Supervisors Andy Thomas and John Steadman were quick to arrive on scene and assess the casualty, who was struggling to breath and in-and-out of consciousness.

An ambulance was called whilst the lifeguards began treatment and the air-ambulance was soon to arrive. The lifeguards had managed to stabilize the casualty by administering oxygen, monitoring his breathing and going through their casualty-care training. A land ambulance arrived shortly after and the air ambulance was stood down. The boy was taken to hospital with his father due to the risk of secondary drowning.

Andy Thomas, RNLI Lifeguard Supervisor said,

‘That young boy was very lucky, in my experience he was very close to drowning. Our beaches have been extremely busy over the half-term week with RNLI lifeguards carrying out multiple rescues and delivering first aid. The beach can be an unpredictable environment and this is why we would urge anyone visiting the coast to head to a lifeguarded beach and swim between the red and yellow flags.’

Across Newquay RNLI lifeguards have been kept busy with a number of incidents at Crantock and Watergate Bay. A young female who was playing on the sand dunes broke her left femur whilst running down one of the dunes. She was treated by the lifeguards, Coastguard and air-ambulance paramedics who airlifted her from the beach where she was taken to Treslike hospital.

Between Tuesday 30 May – Wednesday 02 June there were 12 board rescues at Crantock. Two children were rescued from the River Gannel and 10 people were rescued at the main beach due to rip currents.

At Watergate Bay there were also a number of board rescues due to rip currents and tidal cut off, as well as some first aid incidents including a man suffering from severe chest pains who was treated by the RNLI lifeguards and handed over to paramedics.

RNLI Lifeguard Supervisor, John Steadman says, ‘Rip currents are one of the biggest dangers on our beaches. If you find yourself caught in a rip current, try to stay calm. Remember float to live, lie back with your arms and legs stretched out, this will allow you to regulate your breathing and give you a chance to think of your next move.

If you can, always raise your arm and shout for help. Do not try to swim against the rip current or you’ll get exhausted, instead, swim parallel to the beach until you a free from the current. If you see somebody in trouble around the coast alert the lifeguards or dial 999 and ask for the Coastguard.’

Notes to editors

· Please find attached an image of Fistral Beach, Newquay (credit: Nathan Williams)

· Follow the link to see which beaches are currently lifeguarded

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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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