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RNLI Lifeguards respond to incident whilst completing their pre-season training

Lifeguards News Release

RNLI lifeguard supervisors have been training on the beaches across the south west, undergoing their pre-season lifeguard inductions in preparation for the season ahead.


RNLI lifeguard supervisor inductions Newquay March 2022

During their water-based training activity at Towan beach in Newquay (Cornwall), they also responded to an incident involving a group of surfers.

On Friday 11 March around lunchtime, six RNLI lifeguard supervisors were carrying out a training exercise at Towan beach. Suddenly, an unpredictable large set of waves emerged and broke right in front of a group of surfers, throwing them off their surfboards and dispersing them in all directions.

Lewis Timson, Lead RNLI Lifeguard Supervisor for Newquay, who was in the water taking the training session, spotted the surfers directly in the impact zone and alerted the other lifeguards whilst paddling to their aid.

Lewis says, ‘After I’d made it over the large wave, I turned to look back at the surfer behind me and could see a handful of people in difficulty who were beginning to panic. I immediately paddled towards them and once I’d arrived at the scene, there was a surfer in significant distress shouting for help. I lifted her out of the water and secured her on to my rescue board and began to paddle to shore.

‘We were in a dangerous position with rocks nearby and a lot of strong water movement, so I paddled as quickly as possible whilst the other lifeguards helped to direct the other surfers to shore safely through the rocks.’

Lewis and the casualty were then knocked off the rescue board due to another large surging wave and lost contact with each other for a few seconds and were dragged apart, again directly in the impact zone. Once Lewis had surfaced, he swam towards the casualty, securing her in his arms and they returned to shore.

RNLI lifeguards will be back on a number of beaches across the south west in time for the Easter school holidays on 9 April.

Notes to editors

· Please see attached a photo of RNLI supervisor training at Fistral beach, Newquay, credit to Lewis Timson

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For more information please contact Becky Bright, RNLI Media Engagement Placement (South West) on 07929673281 or [email protected]. or Amy Caldwell, Regional Media Manager on 07920818807 or [email protected]. Alternatively, please contact the RNLI Press Office on 01202 336789 or [email protected].

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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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