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‘Float to Live’ message plays key role in lifeguard rescue at Seaburn

Lifeguards News Release

On Tuesday 13 August Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) lifeguards rescued two young men at Seaburn beach.

RNLI/Andy Brown

RNLI Lifeguards Jennifer Tatters, Joe Pomfret, Carl Harris, Luke Phillips, Alex Richardson, the Seaburn lifeguards involved in the rescue and treatment of casualties.

At around 4.30pm, lifeguards were alerted to an incident approximately 150m outside the red and yellow flags.


Lifeguards, who were already in the water training, responded to the incident on rescue boards. Arriving on scene they came across two young men, one lying in the ‘float’ position and the other clinging to a rugby ball. Both casualties were each secured on a rescue board and paddled to shore by lifeguards who then carried out casualty care assessments and wrapped them blankets.

The young men had been playing catch with a rugby in standing depth water when they found themselves suddenly in deeper water.


While talking to the causalities it became apparent that the young man who had used the ‘float’ technique had heard this message from lifeguards who had visited his school and delivered water safety education talks.


The RNLI’s Respect the Water safety campaign is sending men a stark reminder this holiday season: Be prepared, and practise the skill of FLOATING to avoid being a coastal fatality – floating can be the difference between life and death if you find yourself in trouble in the water.


RNLI lifeguards patrol over 240 beaches around the UK and Channel Islands each summer, you can find your nearest here.


For more information and safety tips, please visit: www.RNLI.org/RespectTheWater

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 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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Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries

Members of the public may contact the RNLI on 0300 300 9990 (UK) or 1800 991802 (Ireland) or or by email.