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RNLI lifeguards rescue body boarders at St Ouen’s

Lifeguards News Release

RNLI lifeguard supervisor Nathan Elms was in the right place at the right time at St Ouen’s yesterday, rescuing body boarders from a strong rip current.

Just before high tide at 5pm, Nathan was in the water on a rescue board making sure everyone was getting back to shore safely. The flags and RNLI patrol trucks had all been removed from the beach as the sea had completely covered the sand.

Strong flash rips and a swell of around two metres caused a male body boarder to get in to difficulty as he was trying to get back to shore.

A fellow lifeguard signalled to Nathan from the lifeguard watch tower by whistling and pointing in the direction of the body boarder in distress.

Nathan immediately went to the aid of the casualty, who no longer had his board and was going under the water. Due to the rough conditions, getting the casualty back to safety on the rescue board was not the safest or quickest option.

Senior RNLI lifeguard Alex Vibert launched the Rescue Water Craft (RWC) and returned him to the beach. The lifeguards checked him over for any injuries but he had not taken in any water.

Shortly before, Nathan had helped a young boy from drifting out to sea in a rip current and brought him and his brother back to the beach.

RNLI Lifeguard Supervisor, Nathan Elms, said: ‘Rip currents can take people by surprise but it’s important not to panic if you find yourself in one. Keep hold of your body board as this will help you stay afloat. Stay calm, swim parallel to the beach until free of the rip, raise your hand and wave and shout for help.’

The RNLI’s Respect the Water campaign is running throughout the summer. To find out more about the dangers of the coast and how to stay safe, visit or search #RespectTheWater on social media.

Notes to editors

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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, Carrybridge 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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