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Great Yarmouth and Gorleston RNLI joint mass casualty training exercise

Lifeguards News Release

On Monday 14 August Great Yarmouth and Gorleston RNLI lifeguards and lifeboat crew came together for a combined multi-casualty training exercise at Gorleston Beach.

RNLI lifeguards at Gorleston Beach

RNLI/Arna Tolliday

RNLI lifeguards at Gorleston Beach

Working together they staged a simulated rescue using trained lifeguards posing as casualties in the water who had been caught in a fictitious rip current. Rip currents are a major cause of accidental drowning. They are a hazard across many beaches in the UK and Ireland and so it is important to be aware of them.

As one team, Great Yarmouth and Gorleston RNLI lifeguards and lifeboat crew performed a mass casualty rescue scenario, practising and refining the best and quickest techniques to transfer casualties from rescue boards and rescue tubes in the sea to different lifeboats including the Atlantic 85 inshore lifeboat (ILB) John Rowntree, the Trent class all-weather lifeboat (ALB) Samarbeta and ALB daughter craft.

Ted Morgan, RNLI Lead Lifeguard Supervisor, said: ‘Rip currents occur when the tide comes in. They are fast and happen so quickly that it is easy to get caught in them.'

Supervisor Ted Morgan, Seasonal Lifeguard Supervisor Arna Tolliday and Volunteer Coxswain Rod Wells, gave the charity’s lifeguards and lifeboat crew a chance to practice and perfect their collaborative rescue skills for incidents involving people being pulled out to sea.

Rod Wells, RNLI Mechanic and volunteer Coxswain, said: ‘The multi-casualty training scenario offered the lifeguards a valuable insight and demonstration of the capabilities of Great Yarmouth and Gorleston Lifeboat Station.’

The training exercise also explored casualty care and the best approaches to transferring and treating casualties with certain injuries such as spinal damage.

Arna Tolliday, RNLI Seasonal Lifeguard Supervisor, said: ‘The joint lifeguard and lifeboat training session was a success. Our teams worked well together to practice mass rescue scenarios, casualty care and radio communications.

‘The exercise was a great opportunity for new and returning lifeguards to work alongside our fellow RNLI lifeboat crew and practice some of the important skills required to save lives at sea.

‘Hopefully this will lead to future training exercises where we can work on perfecting more skills together as one crew.’

The charity’s lifeguards pride themselves in being as fit and prepared as possible to keep beach users safe.

Arna Tolliday added: ‘We always recommend that members of the public swim at a lifeguarded beach between the red and yellow flags.

‘If you find yourself in trouble in the water, remember to Float to Live: 

  • Tilt your head back with your ears submerged 

  • Try to relax 

  • Control your breathing 

  • Use your hands to help you stay afloat 

  • Once calm, then try to call for help or swim to safety if you can.’

In a coastal emergency, call 999 or 112 for the Coastguard.

You can see Great Yarmouth and Gorleston RNLI lifeboat crew and lifeguards working together at Gorleston Beach on Thursday 17 August at 7pm during a sand hole collapse joint training exercise with local emergency services.

For beach safety information and tips, please visit:

Notes to editors

  • Training footage available on request.

To find out more about Great Yarmouth and Gorleston RNLI lifeboat station:

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

  • Wells-next-the-Sea 

  • Sheringham East 

  • Sheringham West 

  • West Runton 

  • East Runton 

  • Cromer West 

  • Cromer East 

  • Mundesley 

  • Sea Palling 

  • Hemsby 

  • Great Yarmouth 

  • Gorleston 

  • Southwold North 

  • Southwold South 

  • Lowestoft North 

  • Lowestoft South

Here is a link to a video demonstrating the Float to Live technique:

For further information please see:

RNLI media contacts

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.

Great Yarmouth and Gorleston RNLI joint training exercise

RNLI/Arna Tolliday

Great Yarmouth and Gorleston RNLI joint training exercise

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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For more information please visit the RNLI website or Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. News releases, videos and photos are available on the News Centre.

Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries

Members of the public may contact the RNLI on 0300 300 9990 (UK) or 1800 991802 (Ireland) or by email.