Cullercoats Lifeboat rescue casualty from the water at Tynemouth Longsands

Lifeboats News Release

Volunteers from Cullercoats Lifeboat were paged on Saturday 20th March, for the second time in 5 hours, to the report of an unconscious casualty in the water of Tynemouth Longsands Beach.

RNLI/Miles Brown

RNLB Hylton Burdon launching to Person in the Water

The boat was made prepared for service and was launched 4 minutes after the pagers first sounded, alerting the crew to the casualty in distress. The four crew of the RNLB Hylton Burdon, included 2 casualty carers who immediately started preparing the first aid bags for use.

The lifeboat quickly made the short journey to the north of Tynemouth Longsands beach, and arrived on scene within two minutes of being launched. Our volunteers found that there were already two surfers assisting the casualty, trying to keep them afloat between two surfboards.

The casualty was quickly recovered to the lifeboat where life saving first aid was administered by the Casualty Care team on board. Given the close proximity of the casualty to the station, a decision was made by the crew to make best speed back to the boathouse where further medical care could be given by ambulance crews and the Hazardous Area response team, who were arriving at Cullercoats Bay.

The casualty was transferred to the care of the North East Ambulance Service and once stabilised was then taken to hospital by road ambulance.

The quick thinking actions of the surfers, along with the rapid launch of the lifeboat helped to prevent a tragedy on our coastline at the weekend. Without immediate aid of the surfers, who at great personal risk had gone to the aid of the casualty and had then managed to keep them from slipping below the surface, it is very likely that this shout could have ended in a tragedy within sight of our beautiful beach.

Lifeboat Operations Manager, Frank Taylor, said ‘Our Volunteer crews train hard come rain or shine, flat clam seas or storms, for exactly the type of life saving intervention that we saw off our coastline today. From the tractor driver who launched the boat, the shore crew who cleared the beach and prepared a space for first aid to be given, the boat crew who provided life saving first aid and of course the brave surfers who paddled to the casualties aid, we should be proud of the work of our community that helped to save a life today’

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 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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