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Berrow RNLI lifeguards deal with explosive device during busy day at beach

Lifeguards News Release

On Monday 31 July RNLI lifeguards arrived to set up for their patrol at 10am to be alerted to the discovery of an explosive device on Berrow Beach, Somerset. While this incident was unfolding they also had to treat a woman who had fallen and injured her upper leg at 11.15am.

RNLI/Berrow Lifeguards

RNLI lifeguard red flags being used to help cordon off the area, with coastguard team on scene to assist.

On arrival the lifeguards were met by one of the Sedgemoor Beach Wardens who explained that there was explosive device on the beach. Shortly after this Avon and Somerset Police and Burnham Coastguard Team arrived to cordon off the area. To help with the situation, the lifeguards offered the use of the red flags to help warn beach users to stay away from the sectioned off area.

The police and coastguard teams continued to monitor the area until the bomb disposal unit arrived at approximately 1.50pm. They investigated the suspicious device and safely removed it from the beach. The coastguard and police were stood down shortly after.

Just over an hour after the incident had begun, the lifeguard team were alerted to a woman, aged 65, who had fallen during a family game of cricket and hurt her upper leg.

RNLI lifeguard Daniel Jones attended the incident to assess the casualty using the crash pack, while Senior Lifeguard Luke Rennie dropped the red and yellow flags so that he could also assist and take the casualty care kit to the casualty’s location.

The casualty was in a great amount of pain, so the lifeguards gave her pain relief and called for an ambulance. Lifeguard Supervisor Luke Penman was quickly on the scene to offer help meaning that the bathing area at Berrow could also be reopened and lifeguard patrols resumed.

The ambulance arrived approximately 20 minutes after the 999 call had been made and the handover was completed at 1pm.

Luke Penman, RNLI Lifeguard Supervisor, said: ‘Our lifeguards responded well to both incidents, working together with the coastguard and emergency services to ensure that beach users were safe. This was an unusual experience as it’s not every day you find something like this on the beach, but the lifeguards dealt with it professionally and are a credit to the RNLI. We also want to wish the injured lady a speedy recovery and hope that she is feeling better now.’


Note to editors

  • Berrow Beach stretches for 6 miles from Burnham-on-Sea to Brean in Somerset. The sandy beach also features extensive mud flats and is favoured by walkers, beach sports enthusiasts and fishermen.
  • Berrow Beach is patrolled daily by RNLI lifeguards between 10am-6pm until 3 September.
  • The enclosed photos show the RNLI quad bike in front of the cordon with emergency vehicles and coastguard in the background. Please credit RNLI/Berrow Beach Lifeguards.

RNLI media contacts

For more information please contact Jade Dyer, Communications Student Placement, on 01752 854485 or by emailing Jade_Dyer@rnli.org.uk.

RNLI/Berrow Lifeguards

RNLI quad bike with emergency service vehicles in the background.

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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