RNLI technician goes to the aid of two children caught in a rip current

Lifeguards News Release

RNLI systems technician Euan Noble was enjoying his weekend off, surfing with his girlfriend, Charlotte, at Portrush’s East Strand when she spotted two children struggling in the water yesterday (Sunday, 21 August) afternoon.

A Photograph of Euan Noble

RNLI/ Liam Kavanagh

Euan Noble

An experienced surfer, Euan, who works to maintain the mechanics of lifeguard equipment in the Ballymoney RNLI Support Centre, knew that there was a rip current in that area of the bay next to the Arcadia building.

Back on shore RNLI lifeguard Luca, who was on patrol along the East Strand, also noticed the children struggling with bodyboards by the rocks.

Luca radioed RNLI lifeguards Michael and Jenna, who were out on a paddle board exercise. Michael started to paddle out to the rocks, about 200 metres away from the black and white flagged area where Euan was surfing. Jenna went back to shore and ran along the water’s edge before picking up a rescue board to swim out to help Michael, and Euan.

Euan could see the lifeguards respond but based on his own location in the water he knew that he would reach the children first, so he quickly paddled around to them.

Euan reached out to the young girl in the water and managed to pull her up and out of the rip current, onto his own surfboard.

In the meantime, the girl’s brother had managed to get himself up onto the rocks, so Euan manoeuvred his board around to him where they could safely stay until the lifeguards reached them.

Lifeguards Michael and Jenna arrived on scene and carried out casualty care for some minor injuries before getting the children back to shore on the rescue boards. Given the strength of the rip, Michael held the boy under the arms and waded to shore with the rescue board over the rocky coastline.

On his impromptu role change from technician to lifesaver, Euan said:

‘I’ve been caught out by this particular rip current before, they are unpredictable and they can catch you very quickly, these things do happen. I usually work with lifeguard equipment, and I’ve never been a lifeguard, so my priority was getting the children into the hands of the lifeguards as safely as possible. I am an experienced surfer and familiar with the sea state around this area. Luckily, the children were at a lifeguarded beach, where they could be rescued quickly.’

RNLI lifeguard Michael also notes the dangers of the rip current by Arcadia, saying:

‘This spot, at the rocks near the corner of the bay by the Arcadia building, is dangerous for bathing because of this strong, permanent rip current. When you visit a lifeguarded beach, always check the flags. The area safest for swimming and bodyboarding is always between the red and yellow flags, and the area safest for paddle boarding and surfing is always between the black and white flags. I’m proud of our RNLI team, that includes my lifeguarding colleagues and our staff, in yesterday’s rescue that was Euan who knew what to do to support us.’


Ends

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