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String of incidents for Ceredigion RNLI lifeguards

image002RNLI lifeguards in Ceredigion have responded to a string of incidents in a busy period for the team.

Among the people rescued by the charity’s lifeguards were a woman and two children from a rip current in big surf at Llangrannog and a woman who had been attacked by a cormorant while swimming at Tresaith.

At Llangrannog last week RNLI Senior Lifeguard Joe Saunders and fellow lifeguard Ben Thomas spotted three people on bodyboards who had been knocked by a big wave and washed to the right of the red and yellow flagged swimming area. As the surf was big there was a strong rip current running at the right hand side of the beach and the three people – a woman, a 14-year-old girl and an 11-year-old boy – were soon being swept out of their depth.

The waves were at least head-height by this time and the woman and two children were about 40-50m out. Due to the size of the waves, lifeguards Joe and Ben took the decision to swim out to the group with rescue tubes. Negotiating the big breaking surf, they reached the casualties and strapped the two children, who were in most difficulty, into the two rescue tubes.

As big sets of waves broke in front of them, Joe and Ben held the children while swimming them back into shore. The adult woman was able to swim behind. The rip current was too strong to swim against, so Joe took the decision to return the three people to the neighbouring beach of Cilborth where they were checked over but luckily needed no further treatment.

The rescue came days after lifeguards responded to a man who sustained nasty cuts after his mobility scooter fell on him after a crash on the coast path. The incident happened near the statue on the coast path to the left above Llangrannog beach and after being alerted by a member of the public RNLI lifeguard Morgan Davies went to the man’s aid.

The man – in his 60s – had lost control of his scooter and fallen, with his scooter falling on top of him. Morgan treated a nasty cut to the man’s had and other cuts to his arms, before handing him over into the care of ambulance paramedics.

At Tresaith, the charity’s lifeguards responded to two first aid incidents on the same day, including a swimmer whose foot was cut after a cormorant attacked her in the sea. The woman, an experienced swimmer in her 30s, was spotted by lifeguards when she was spooked by the bird popping up next to her in the water. Soon after she appeared complaining it had attacked her feet, which were cut in multiple places. Lifeguards Rhodri Evans and Alfie Bodenham treated the wounds and advised the swimmer to seek medical advice.

Earlier in the day the lifeguards also provided first aid to a woman in her 70s who was pulled over by her dog in the car park in Tresaith. Lifeguards immediately went to help the woman and carried out checks, which found she had a high breathing rate and she was complaining of pain to her ribs. Due to the woman’s high breathing rate, lifeguard Rhodri Evans called for an ambulance and administered oxygen. He then monitored the woman’s condition until paramedics arrived to take over her treatment.

Ceredigion Lifeguard Supervisor Sam Trevor said: ‘It has been a busy period on the beaches of Ceredigion. Our lifeguards are trained in a wide range of scenarios and the incidents they’ve responded to recently show the importance of this.

‘A special mention must go to Ben Thomas and Joe Saunders for their water rescue at Llangrannog. In very challenging conditions they made a series of good decisions quickly to avert what could have quite quickly turned into a serious situation and they brought the woman and children to safety.’

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Jon Coles

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