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‘You saved my baby’s life’: RNLI Lifeguards save life of 18-month-old Macie

Lifeguards News Release

The mother of 18-month-old baby Macie will be forever grateful to two Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) lifeguards who came to her daughter’s aid when she became unresponsive and in desperate need of medical attention.

RNLI Chris Taylor

Lifeguard Theo, Macie and Alice

Alice Corbett was enjoying a birthday lunch for her sister on Monday 31 July at their family owned café by West Runton beach when any parent’s worst nightmare materialised. From nowhere Alice’s daughter Macie’s eyes closed and she suddenly went completely floppy and couldn’t control her own head. Macie was struggling with her breathing and had become unresponsive.

Alice said: ‘One second Macie was happily playing on her chair with her little teddy, the next she was on the floor, eyes closed and her hands and feet were blue. I was in a state of panic.'

Alice’s sister called for an ambulance who advised that a defibrillator was needed. Fortunately for Alice they were sat at a café next to a lifeguarded beach with access to one. The alarm was raised to the lifeguards who quickly made their way to Alice and Macie.

Alice added: ‘The lifeguards were phenomenal. They put oxygen on Macie, which really helped her to breathe more easily and relax. They checked her pulse, asked questions, made notes. Despite being so young, they kept calm and professional, asked me about Macie, while monitoring her breathing.

‘Both lifeguards stayed right until the paramedics arrived and gave them a handover. Because of the oxygen, Macie then came round and was distressed on my lap with the oxygen mask on. The lifeguards spoke to her and tried to make her feel safe, reassured us all.

‘Macie’s doing ok now, she’s still got a little cough and snotty nose, but running around like a crazy one-year-old. I’ll forever be grateful for those lifeguards for being first on scene and what they did that day. I honestly don’t know what situation we would have been in without them.’

RNLI lifeguards Theo Maun (21-years-old) and Max Sterry (19-years-old) had been carrying out their patrols on West Runton beach when the alarm was raised by Alice’s family to the situation unfolding with Macie. The charity’s lifeguards are trained in first aid as well as water rescue so they are prepared for any situation they may face on the beach.

Theo and Max responded immediately grabbing the first-aid responder bag including oxygen, and retrieving the defibrillator. Once on scene they checked Macie’s pulse, she had effective breathing but was still unconscious.

RNLI lifeguard, Theo Maun, said: ‘We immediately put Macie on oxygen and monitored her breathing while waiting for the ambulance to arrive. This was for around 3-4 minutes.

‘The paramedics arrived as little Macie began to show signs of small movement with her arms and legs. She woke up in a little bit of a shock, crying, but overall seemed ok.

‘As lifeguards we received world-class training so we are prepared for any situation, even one as serious as this. We are glad we could put this training into action and be there for Macie when she needed us. We were so happy to hear about Macie’s recovery and wish them all the best!’

Before a lifeguard sets foot on a beach, they take part in months of training. From a rigorous fitness test to learning vital casualty care skills, it takes a lot of hard work, dedication and commitment in order to save lives at the beach.

As well as rescuing those in trouble in the water, RNLI lifeguards have to deal with multiple lost children, minor first aids including cuts and stings, major first aids including fractures and critical illnesses and provide safety advice to beach goers to ensure they enjoyed their day at the beach as safely as possible.

As a charity RNLI lifeguards’ training, kit and equipment is all paid for by voluntary donations. Alice is supporting the RNLI and its current fundraising prize draw with Omaze, who are giving away a stunning £4.5m coastal property in Norfolk, close to where Alice lives and her daughter was saved by RNLI lifeguards - as well as £100,000 in cash.

The partnership with Omaze will not only raise significant funds, but also widespread awareness for the RNLI. Omaze has set a fundraising target of at least £1,000,000 for the charity, which could help the RNLI to fund training for 950 lifeguards.

To be in with a chance of winning the beautiful house in Norfolk, whilst supporting The RNLI at the same time, visit


Notes to editors

The RNLI is urging anyone visiting the coast this summer to make sure they keep themselves and their families safe by following their beach safety advice.

  • Visit a lifeguarded beach and swim between the red and yellow flags.
  • Check the weather forecast, tide times and read local hazard signage to understand local risks.
  • For activities like paddleboarding or kayaking we recommend you wear a wetsuit, buoyancy aid or lifejacket and carry a means of calling for help in a waterproof pouch and keep it on you. Tell someone what you are doing, where you are going and when you expect to return.
  • If you are going open water swimming, use a wetsuit to keep you warm, wear a bright coloured swim hat and take a tow float to store personal items including a phone for emergencies
  • If you fall into the water unexpectedly, FLOAT TO LIVE. Fight your instinct to thrash around, lean back, extend your arms and legs, and Float.
  • In an emergency dial 999 and ask for the Coastguard.

RNLI media contacts

For more information please telephone Oliver Wrynne-Simpson, RNLI National Media Manager [email protected] or contact the RNLI Press Office on 01202 336789.

RNLI Chris Taylor

Lifeguard Theo, Macie and Alice


RNLI lifeguards Max (left of picture) and Theo (right of picture)


RNLI / Omaze Million Pound House Draw Norfolk


18-month-old Macie


18-month-old Macie and Mum Alice

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.

Learn more about the RNLI

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.