Off duty RNLI lifeguard helps to save collapsed tourist at Teignmouth beach

Lifeguards News Release

Senior RNLI lifeguard Henry Irvine was off duty and cycling down to Teignmouth beach for swim training at 7am on Wednesday 16 August when he was asked to respond to a man who had collapsed while running along the beach.

RNLI/Henry Irvine

Senior Lifeguard Henry Irvine reunited with the casualty who is recovering well.

The man, a US tourist in his 40s, had been out for a morning run at the beach when he collapsed and was found by other runners nearby. As Henry was cycling towards the beach, the runners recognised him as a lifeguard and approached him for help. He immediately made his way to the lifeguard unit, grabbed the first responder bag and cycled along the sea wall to the casualty’s location.

Upon Henry’s arrival an off duty doctor was already performing CPR on the casualty. Henry used the defibrillator to great effect to make the casualty responsive. He administered oxygen and carried out casualty care checks while waiting for an ambulance to arrive.

When the paramedics arrived the man was talking and had begun to recover. He was then taken to hospital for further treatment, where he is now recovering well.

RNLI Area Lifesaving Manager Nigel Jones said: ‘Henry acted quickly and used his medical skills to deliver a positive outcome for the gentleman involved. We are very proud of the professionalism that he displayed; he is a true credit to the RNLI and its lifeguarding service.’

Notes to editors

  • Interviews available with Senior Lifeguard Henry Irvine.
  • Teignmouth beach is patrolled by RNLI lifeguards from 10am-6pm until 3 September.

The enclosed photos show:

  • Senior Lifeguard Henry Irvine at the beach with the casualty care pack. Please credit RNLI/Henry Irvine.
  • Senior Lifeguard Henry Irvine reunited with the casualty who is recovering well in hospital. Please credit RNLI/Henry Irvine.


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/Henry Irvine

Senior Lifeguard Henry Irvine at Teignmouth beach with the casualty care pack.

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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