West Kirby RNLI called to assist swimmer in distress

Lifeboats News Release

West Kirby RNLI was tasked to launch at 3.15pm following the quick thinking actions of two off-duty nurses who had spotted a swimmer suffering from cold water shock.

RNLI/Tom Clark

Within 10 minutes the volunteer crew of West Kirby RNLI Lifeboat had reached the casualty on the beach by Cubbins Green. The two nurses, who had called the incident in to HM Coastguard, were providing assistance after which the crew moved the casualty to the inshore lifeboat. The casualty was quickly transferred by boat to the awaiting local HM Coastguard team and taken to the lifeboat station so as to receive treatment for cold water shock. The casualty had walked some distance to the beach prior to entering the cold water and, as a consequence, had a severe reaction and needed assistance.

The hot weather conditions have made the local beaches a popular destination at this current time. However, it is crucial that people are aware that despite the hot temperatures the water remains cold and it is very easy to become incapacitated. When in cold water (anything below 15°C), your body can go into cold water shock. If this happens, you lose control of your breathing and movement. Cold water shock also causes your heart rate and blood pressure to quickly increase, which can lead to cardiac arrest. The average sea temperature around the UK and Ireland is just 12°C. Remember, if you find yourself in difficulty in the water, Float to Live.

Richard Diamond, West Kirby RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager said: ‘We would like to thank the two nurses for quickly contacting the Coastguard and supporting this gentleman. It is very easy to find yourself in such a situation and we urge people to phone 999 and ask for the Coastguard if you believe someone to be unwell on or beside the water. We are here and happy to help.”

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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