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Saltburn RNLI lifeguards rescue three girls drifting out to sea on bodyboards

Lifeguards News Release

RNLI lifeguard Harry Deluce rescued three young girls drifting out to sea on bodyboards at Saltburn beach on Saturday 19 August.

RNLI lifeguard Harry Deluce in front of Saltburn RNLI lifeguard unit

RNLI/Daniel Bedwell

RNLI lifeguard Harry Deluce

Around 11:50am three young girls aged six, eight and ten were spotted drifting outside the red and yellow flags on their bodyboards at Saltburn beach.

RNLI lifeguard Harry Deluce tried to call the three girls back into the flag zone but noticed they were struggling to paddle in.

Grabbing his rescue board, Harry headed out to retrieve the girls who at this point had drifted approximately 100m offshore, just in front of the pier.

Harry said: ‘Paddling out I saw that the girls has started to split up. One of them managed to direct herself onto a sand bank and get safely back to shore, however, the other two young girls were unable to make any progress.

‘The youngest of the casualties started to panic and was fighting to keep her head above water.’

The girls were now approximately 150m out to sea.

Harry approached the first young girl and helped her onto his rescue board while guiding the second, about 10m away, towards him.

Once both casualties were on the rescue board, the charity’s lifeguard calmed them down, tied their bodyboards to the back and paddled them inshore.

Back at the lifeguard unit, Harry double-checked that the first girl had got back to shore safely and been located.

All the casualties were assessed and found to be in good health. The lifeguards then provided the girls’ guardian with some safety advice.

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

‘Offshore winds are unpredictable. To know when the wind is offshore, keep an eye out for the orange windsock on lifeguarded beaches, this will indicate which way the wind is blowing.’

Also earlier in the week, Saltburn lifeguards provided first-aid to casualties suffering from weever fish stings on Tuesday 15 August, with two casualties becoming seriously ill.

RNLI Senior Lifeguard Tom Davis said: ‘The two casualties began showing signs of Anaphylaxis, a severe allergic reaction that can develop rapidly.

‘The signs of an allergic anaphylactic reaction can include itchy or raised skin, a red skin rash, swollen eyes, lips, hands and feet.’

Due to the severity of their reactions, both casualties immediately received vital casualty care treatment by Tom and RNLI lifeguards Anna Morris and Finn MacMurray.

Redcar and Staithes HM Coastguard came to assist, and an ambulance was called and attended to give further medical treatment.

Andrew Jamieson, RNLI Lead Lifeguard Supervisor, said: ‘Weever fish stings are relatively common especially at low tide once the water has warmed up a bit around July and August time.

‘They occur in spates and if stung, it almost feels like being stung by a wasp.

‘The best advice if you think you might have been stung by a weever fish is to go see the lifeguards for treatment. They will Immerse the affected area in hot water to draw out the venom and prevent any further reactions to the sting.’

Tom added: ‘RNLI Lifeguards take part in months of essential casualty care training that enables them to treat those who are ill or injured.’

As well as rescuing those in trouble in the water, RNLI lifeguards 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 enjoy their day at the beach as safely as possible.

The RNLI encourages people attending the beach to stay safe and to ask the charity’s lifeguards for help no matter the scale of the incident.

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

Notes to editors

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 call for help or swim to safety if you can.

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


RNLI lifeguards are currently operating on the following North and 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

Photograph 1 shows RNLI lifeguard Harry Deluce. Photo credit: Daniel Bedwell.

Photograph 2 shows RNLI Lifeguard Finn MacMurray (left), Senior Lifeguard Tom Davis (centre), Lifeguard Anna Morris (right). Photo credit: Tom Davis.

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 Lifeguard Finn MacMurray, Senior Lifeguard Tom Davis and Lifeguard Anna Morris in front of Saltburn RNLI lifeguard unit

RNLI/Tom Davis

RNLI Lifeguard Finn MacMurray (left), Senior Lifeguard Tom Davis (centre), Lifeguard Anna Morris (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.

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