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RNLI lifeguard helps child stuck in rip at Newgale moments after starting shift

Lifeguards News Release

An RNLI lifeguard was called into action moments after starting his duty after a young girl got caught in a rip current.

Finn Isles had only just finished setting up with his fellow lifeguards at the north end of Newgale beach on Saturday morning (30 July) when they spotted the girl, who was about 12 years old, seemingly resting on her surfboard.

Finn, who is doing his first season as a lifeguard with the RNLI charity, went to check on her condition shortly after 10am and despite her not being a long way from shore it became clear she was out of her depth and struggling to paddle against the outward flowing rip current.

He immediately paddled out to her on a surf rescue board to ask whether she needed assistance. The girl said she was making no headway so Finn took her onto the rescue board and brought her back to the safety of the beach.

Scott Candler, RNLI Lifeguard Supervisor, said: ‘This incident was an reminder of the importance of going in the sea when our lifeguards are on duty between 10am and 6pm. This girl got into difficulty minutes after the lifeguards began their day. The beach was quiet at the time and if it was half-an-hour earlier there may not have been anyone there to help her.

‘Rips are strong currents of water running out to sea that can quickly drag you out beyond your depth. Our advice to anyone who get caught in one is don’t panic, don’t try to swim against it or you’ll get exhausted. If you can stand, wade, don’t swim. If you can, swim parallel to the shore until free of the rip and then head for shore, raise your hand and shout for help and if you have something which will help you float like a board, keep hold of it.’

RNLI lifeguards are on duty on Poppit Sands, Newport Beach, Whitesands, Newgale, Nolton Haven, Broad Haven, Freshwater West, Tenby North Beach, Tenby Castle Beach, Tenby South Beach, Saundersfoot Beach and Amroth Beach every day throughout the summer between 10am and 6pm.

Notes to editors:

Attached is a stock picture of RNLI lifeguards at Newgale. Credit Gareth Davies Photography.

For more information please contact Chris Cousens, RNLI Press Officer, Wales and West, on 01745 585162 or 07748 265496 or by email on Chris_Cousens@rnli.org.uk

Key facts about the RNLI

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution is the charity that saves lives at sea. Our volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service in the United Kingdom and Ireland from 238 lifeboat stations, including four along the River Thames and inland lifeboat stations at Loch Ness, Lough Derg, Enniskillen and Lough Ree. Additionally the RNLI has more than 1,000 lifeguards on over 240 beaches around the UK and operates a specialist flood rescue team, which can respond anywhere across the UK and Ireland when inland flooding puts lives at risk.

The RNLI relies on public donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. As a charity it is separate from, but works alongside, government-controlled and funded coastguard services. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824 our lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved at least 140,000 lives. Volunteers make up 95% of the charity, including 4,600 volunteer lifeboat crew members and 3,000 volunteer shore crew. Additionally, tens of thousands of other dedicated volunteers raise funds and awareness, give safety advice, and help in our museums, shops and offices.

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The RNLI is a charity registered in England and Wales (209603) and Scotland (SC037736). Charity number 20003326 in the Republic of Ireland