A team of young lifeguards at Viking Bay in Broadstairs have attended a series of incidents in just two hours.
Between them the four – Jordan Box, 23; Alex Harding, 18 and Harry Bradford, 16, and Anna Taylor, 19 – gave medical attention to a confused and disorientated man, helped get a woman with a broken toe get to hospital and provided vital assistance to an unconscious young woman.
The first call for help came just after 3pm on August 18, when Senior Lifeguard Jordan Box went to the aid of a confused and disorientated man on the promenade. The man, who was in his 70s, had suffered an injury to his head and Jordan treated his wound, carried out a medical assessment and stayed with him until an ambulance arrived on the scene.
Little more than an hour later lifeguards Alex Harding and Harry Bradford, who at 16 is in his first season as an RNLI lifeguard, attended to a woman in her 60s who had broken a toe on the beach while walking across a rock pool. Unable to walk, the lifeguards put together a trolley equipped with body boards to help her get safely off the beach. She was then taken to hospital.
Harry and Alex were back in action just half an hour later and joined by RNLI lifeguard Anna Taylor when they were alerted by a member of the public to a young woman, who was lying down unconscious on the promenade.
With serious concerns about her health the lifeguards made sure the woman’s airways were clear and gave her oxygen while they waited for paramedics to arrive on the scene and rush the woman to hospital.
Lifeguard Supervisor Lucy-Jane Macgowan said: “It all happened right near the end of the day and really put the skills of our lifeguards to the test.
“The last incident was particularly upsetting, but our lifeguards handled the situation brilliantly and put their training into action with total professionalism.
“Assisting people on the beach may not be as dramatic as seeing them racing through the waves but it can often be just as vital. There’s little doubt if a member of the public hadn’t spotted the young woman and alerted the lifeguards to assist we could have been looking at a traged.”.
Last year RNLI lifeguards attended 17,414 incidents and helped 20,538 people.