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Weymouth RNLI lifeguards and volunterr crew search for missing children

Lifeboats News Release

Weymouth RNLI inshore lifeboat was launched at 2.42pm on Saturday 14th July to carry out a search for a missing child.

Weymouth RNLI inshore lifeboat and RNLI Beach lifeguard surf rescue boat.

RNLI/Ken Francis

Weymouth RNLI ILB and RNLI Beach Lifeguard surf rescue boat

Weymouth RNLI inshore lifeboat was launched at 2.42pm on Saturday 14th July to carry out a search for a missing child.

Solent Coastguard had received information that a young child was missing a few yards from Weymouth main beach. The Coastguard helicopter from Lee on Solent joined in the search as the waters were scoured by the RNLI Inshore Lifeboat (ILB), RNLI lifeguard Inshore Rescue Boat (IRB) and other craft.

RNLI Lifeguards, Coastguards, Beach Control officers and Police were called on to search the beach.

As time went on a total of four children were reported missing to the volunteer lifeboat crew but were later found safe and well on the beach.

On return to station RNLI volunteer helm Karl Sargent said; 'We were called out to reports of a missing child and ended up looking for three more. Gladly all were found safe and well on the beach'.

Duty RNLI Lifeguard Supervisor for Weymouth Beach Barney Hedgecock said; 'Between 1pm and 4pm today lifeguards at Weymouth Central Beach helped to coordinate searches for children who were reported missing on the beach. About nine children at various times throughout the afternoon were reported missing and the beach was very busy owing to the hot weather.

As there was a possibility that the children could have entered the water, the lifeguards informed the Coastguard and the Coastguard then requested a launch of Weymouth Inshore lifeboat and also informed the Police.

Two of our volunteer lifeguards played an integral part in helping with the searches - Erin Gowers and Beth Whittall. They worked with the full-time RNLI lifeguards and helped them to keep the red and yellow swim zone open and patrolled during the searches and also helped with the search patterns. It was a real multi-agency effort between the lifeboat crew, lifeguards, Police and Coastguard and thankfully all nine children were found and are now safe and sound.'

With all the reported missing children found the inshore lifeboat returned to station at 4pm where she was refuelled and made ready for the next shout.

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