Newcastle RNLI volunteers rescue swimmer who gets into difficulty in rough seas

Lifeboats News Release

Earlier today, (2 March 2022), volunteers at Newcastle RNLI rescued a swimmer who got into difficulty in rough seas close to Newcastle harbour.


Newcastle RNLI volunteers and RNLI staff involved in the rescue pictured from left, Shane Rice, Ewan Noble, Steve Rhodes, Davy Conley and Gerry McConkey.

Two volunteers and three visiting staff members were working at Newcastle RNLI lifeboat station when shortly after 11am, they observed a swimmer clinging to a buoy off the slip having struggled in rough seas. They immediately stopped what they were doing and went to the swimmer’s aid. Station mechanic Shane Rice under the watchful eye of the four others, grabbed a throw line and threw it to the swimmer who was able to reach it and hold on as the group successfully pulled them out of the water and brought them safely onto shore.

Weather conditions at the time were poor with an easterly Force Six wind and moderate waves.

Speaking following the rescue, Lisa Ramsden, Newcastle RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager said: ‘This morning’s rescue was testament to our team who were in the right place at the right time, reacting quickly and efficiently and I want to commend them for responding with courage and determination when they spotted the person in difficulty. We would like to wish the swimmer well following their experience this morning.

‘Open water swimming is a popular activity, and we would encourage all swimmers to enjoy their swim while using some key safety advice. Check weather forecast and tide times before venturing out. Always carry a means of calling for help and let someone on the shore know where you are going and when you are due back. If you can, try to avoid swimming alone – consider going with a buddy or as part of a group and look out for one another. Make sure you have the right kit. We would recommend a wetsuit in order to keep you warm and to increase your buoyancy together with a bright swim cap to make you more visible and a tow float to use in an emergency.’


Photo Details

Newcastle RNLI volunteers and RNLI staff involved in the rescue pictured from left, Shane Rice, Ewan Noble, Steve Rhodes, Davy Conley and Gerry McConkey.

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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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