Friday, 28 August 2009

RNLI lifeguards carry out three rescues in one hour

RNLI lifeguards patrolling Aberporth beach carried out three separate rescues within the same hour yesterday (Thursday 27 August).

One of the charity’s lifeguards, Olivia Draper, was on water’s edge when she noticed two boys and a man in an inflatable dinghy caught in a strong offshore wind drifting approximately 200 metres away from the lifeguard beach unit. One of the boys entered the sea and attempted to pull the inflatable in without success. Lifeguard Olivia paddled out to them on her rescue board and aided them in.

Ten minutes later a mother and 13-year old daughter, who were on holiday from the West Midlands, capsized their double kayak. The pair was pushed against rocks by waves while they tried to hold their kayak. RNLI lifeguards Olivia Draper and Hedydd Llewellyn used their rescue boards to bring the pair safely to dry land.

Shortly afterwards, another inflatable with two fifteen-year old boys in, got caught in a strong offshore wind and was quickly drifting away from the beach. Lifeguard Olivia Draper used her rescue board to bring the dinghy to shore.

RNLI lifeguard Olivia Draper, comments:

‘All three incidents happened in the same place near the reef where there can be strong rip currents. We advise that inflatables should be kept for swimming pools and not used in the sea as it only takes a light offshore breeze for them to be swept a long way from shore.’

Inflatable toys are a common cause of incidents that RNLI lifeguards and RNLI lifeboat crews respond to, particularly during the summer months.

If inflatables are used in the sea, they should only be used on a lifeguarded beach, between the red and yellow flags. They should never be taken out in big waves or when the orange windsock is flying, as this indicates an offshore wind that could take the inflatable away from the shore.

The RNLI’s guide to beach safety, On The Beach, is packed full of useful safety tips. The guide is available free-of-charge by emailing or calling 0800 328 0600.

For further beach safety tips visit the RNLI’s website

Ceredigion County Council currently funds the lifeguards, while the extensive training and equipment needed is provided by the RNLI. It costs the charity an average of £1,000 each year to train and equip each lifeguard.


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