Fistral RNLI lifeguards help to rescue boy trapped in six foot hole

Lifeguards News Release

RNLI lifeguards at Fistral beach worked alongside other emergency services to rescue a 14 year old boy from a hole that had collapsed on top of him yesterday afternoon (29 August).

RNLI lifeguard supervisor Lewis Timson was alerted by several members of the public at around 3pm to a boy who was trapped in a six foot hole that had collapsed. The casualty was buried beneath the sand leaving only his head visible.

Lewis and his colleagues Jack Humphries, Mitch Scott and Marcello Crivicich immediately cleared the area around the hole. They then formed a human chain and began digging away the sand from the furthest point away from the casualty to level out the hole and avoid further collapse. They also gave the casualty oxygen as the weight of the sand on his chest was beginning to make it difficult for him to breathe.

After around 20 minutes of digging, when the casualty was almost free, one side of the hole collapsed further, leaving him buried once again. The RNLI lifeguards were then joined Newquay Fire and Rescue and Newquay Coastguard cliff rescue also attended and the teams worked together quickly to free the casualty. After around 40 minutes, the casualty was freed from the hole and taken to the lifeguard unit where an ambulance was waiting.

Lewis said:

‘This was a very tricky situation for the casualty and we had to take great care in attempting to free him due to the instability of the sand. Even after it had collapsed, the hole was still some six foot deep and there was a very sheer, unstable shelf of sand right behind his head. Luckily, we had completed some training with the Coastguard to deal with this kind of situation.

Our advice is the same as the Coastguard – if you do dig a hole in the sand on the beach, do not dig deeper than waist height of the shortest person in your group. We also ask that you never dig holes into sand dunes as the sand here is very unsteady and never near the water’s edge.’

Notes to Editor

  • RNLI lifeguards patrol over 249 beaches around the UK and Channel Islands

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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 over 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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