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Tyne and Wear RNLI lifeguards team up to rescue two men and a capsized jet ski

Lifeguards News Release

On Sunday 13 August Seaburn and Roker Beach RNLI lifeguards came together as one crew to rescue two men on a capsized jet ski approximately 500m off Seaburn coast.

RNLI lifeguards Abby Cass (left) and Chris Trotter (right) in front of an RNLI rescue watercraft


RNLI lifeguards Abby Cass (left) and Chris Trotter (right)

On Sunday 13 August, RNLI lifeguards Sam Irwin and Ben Mcmann proceeded to rescue two men from a capsized jet ski approximately 500m out to sea at Seaburn beach.

Sam said: ‘The two men were knocked off the jet ski into the water. When they had tried to climb back onto it, the jet ski flipped over and became capsized.

‘The casualties had no lifejackets or wetsuits on.’

Sam and Ben quickly acted, they contacted Roker Beach RNLI lifeguards Chris Trotter and Abby Cass for back-up and paddled out to the casualties using their rescue boards.

Chris and Abby launched from Roker Beach on an RNLI rescue watercraft to assist the incident. When they arrived Sam and Ben had the two men on their rescue boards out of the water.

Chris said: ‘We assessed the casualties on scene and while both were alert, one of the casualties displayed early signs of hypothermia.’

The casualty who appeared to be suffering with symptoms of hypothermia, such as immense shivering and having pale blue or grey skin, was moved by the charity’s lifeguards onto the sledge at the back of the rescue watercraft.

Chris and Abby aided the first man back to Seaburn shore where RNLI Senior Lifeguard Joe Wilson was waiting with the first-aid responder bag to treat them.

In the meantime, Seaburn lifeguards Sam and Ben continued to stay with the second casualty on one of their rescue boards until the rescue watercraft could return and also safely help them back to the beach.

Due to the strong currents that day, the capsized jet ski started to sink.

Chris and Abby remained nearby on the rescue watercraft to make sure the jet ski did not hit or crash into any close by rocks while the lifeguards at Seaburn contacted Sunderland Lifeboat Station for assistance.

RNLI Helm Paul Nicholson and Lifeboat Crew Sam Hart, Lee Stothard and Chris Parks launched the inshore D Class Atlantic 85 and responded to the lifeguard's callout.

They arrived on scene and towed the jet ski back to the station.

The two casualties were given blankets and welfare checks back at the Seaburn lifeguard unit.

The lifeguards monitored the first casualty’s breathing rate while they received treatment for hypothermia.

Both casualties soon recovered, and no further treatment was needed.

Key safety measures the RNLI advise personal watercraft users to consider every time they go out on the water include:

  • Wearing a buoyancy aid that provides extra floatation in the water should you fall in.

  • Staying with your watercraft in an emergency - it can help you to keep afloat and make you easier to locate.

  • Wearing suitable clothing for the forecasted conditions such as a wetsuit.

  • Carrying a mobile phone in a waterproof pouch to use in an emergency to raise the alarm. Make sure to carry this on you somewhere accessible, for example around your neck.

  • To always check your equipment beforehand, make sure the drainage plug is in place and always wear a kill cord if fitted and carry a spare.

Nick Ayers, RNLI Water Safety Lead, North and East of England, said:

‘There are always additional safety steps watercraft users can take in order to stay safe such as taking lessons to develop skill, being aware of the environment and hazards, going with someone instead of alone, checking the weather forecast and tide times before setting out, and by telling someone where you’re going and when you’ll be back.’

Nick added: ‘To help prevent any incidents, consider other water users. This can save you and others getting injured.

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

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

For more water safety information, please visit:

For beach safety information and tips, go to:

Notes to editors

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

  • Whitley Bay

  • Whitley Bay North

  • Cullercoats

  • Tynemouth Longsands

  • Tynemouth Longsands North

  • King Edward’s Bay

  • Sandhaven (Centre Beach)

  • Sandhaven (Mowbray)

  • Seaburn

  • Cats and Dogs

  • Roker

RNLI picture caption

Photograph 1 shows RNLI lifeguards Abby Cass (left) and Chris Trotter (right) in front of an RNLI rescue watercraft. Photo credit: RNLI.

Photograph 2 shows RNLI lifeguards Ben Mcmann (left), Sam Irwin (centre) and Abby Cass (right) in front of an RNLI rescue watercraft. Photo Credit: Toni Carr.

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.

RNLI lifeguards Ben Mcmann (left), Sam Irwin (centre) and Abby Cass (right) in front of an RNLI rescue watercraft

RNLI/Toni Carr

RNLI lifeguards Ben Mcmann (left), Sam Irwin (centre) and Abby Cass (right)

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.