Whitby RNLI lifeguard rescues two children caught by strong rip current

Lifeguards News Release

Whitby Beach RNLI lifeguard Riley Billany (16) rescued two children pulled into the water by a strong rip current on Wednesday 9 August.

RNLI lifeguard Riley Billany

RNLI/Daniel Bedwell

RNLI lifeguard Riley Billany

Around 1.30pm on Wednesday 9 August, RNLI lifeguards Rob Stephensons and Riley Billany were on patrol by the Whitby pier when they were called out to rescue two young children who had been pulled further into the water by a rip current, outside the red and yellow beach flags.

Riley said: ‘The two young swimmers had been caught by a surging wave and were struggling to make it back to the beach.’

The 16-year-old lifeguard swiftly attended to the casualties with a rescue tube and managed to safely assist them back to an area of water where they could stand.

Daniel Bedwell, RNLI Seasonal Lifeguard Supervisor at Whitby, said: ‘This incident emphasises the importance of swimming at a lifeguarded beach between the red and yellow flags.

‘Strong rip currents are more likely to occur near Whitby pier, so it is best to keep well away and avoid swimming in this area.’

The two children received a welfare check back on the beach and had no injuries.

RNLI lifeguards are trained to offer friendly advice and medical assistance when needed and operate on the beaches seven-days-a-week between 10am and 6pm.

Daniel added: ‘In a coastal emergency call 999 and ask for the Coastguard or, if you are inland, ask for the Fire and Rescue service.

‘If you get into trouble in the water, remember to Float to Live: tilt your head back with ears submerged and try to relax and control your breathing. Use your hands to help you stay afloat. Once stable, swim to safety if you can or call for help.'

For beach safety information and tips, please visit: https://rnli.org/safety/beach-safety.

Notes to editors

RNLI lifeguards are currently operating on the following North & East Yorkshire beaches seven-days-a-week between 10am and 6pm:

  • Redcar

  • Saltburn

  • Runswick Bay

  • Sandsend

  • Whitby

  • Cayton Bay

  • Scarborough North Bay

  • Scarborough South Bay

  • Filey

  • Belvedere (weekend only service)

  • Bridlington North (weekend only service)

  • Bridlington South (weekend only service)

  • Withernsea (weekend only service)

  • Hornsea (weekend only service)

RNLI picture caption

The photograph shows RNLI lifeguard Riley Billany. Photo credit: Daniel Bedwell.

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For more information, please contact Toni Carr, RNLI Media Engagement Placement on 07890 402106 or [email protected] or Clare Hopps, Regional Media Officer on 07824 518641 or [email protected] or contact the RNLI Press Office on 01202 336789.

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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