Lyme Regis lifeguards rescue unresponsive boy from water

Lyme Regis RNLI lifeguards Ben and Simon alongside volunteer Lyme Regis lifeboat chairman, Mark Houghton, who helped with the incident (photo by Dominik Fajkiel)

LIFEGUARDS in Lyme Regis rescued a boy who was having seizure in the water whilst bodyboarding on Sunday, August 23.

The RNLI lifeguards found the boy floating face down in the water, but he was still breathing.

Whilst on routine water patrols at Lyme Regis beach, a member of the public alerted the lifeguards to his grandson who was in significant difficulty in the water.

Lifeguard Simon Davis recognised the severity of the situation and ran into the water immediately, managing the casualty’s airway and requesting prompt assistance from the beach lifeguard unit.

The casualty was initially unresponsive, but breathing. However, due to him being face down in the water it was possible he could have swallowed a lot of water. Simon, along with members of the public, recovered the casualty from the water.

RNLI senior lifeguard, Ben Greenslade, ran down to the shoreline with the crash bag and Simon immediately administered oxygen and put the casualty in the recovery position to help maintain his airway.

At the same time Lyme Regis lifeboat crew volunteer Mark Houghton phoned for an ambulance and took the spinal board to the beach.

Ben was communicating with Solent coastguard as well as managing the busy beach, taking down the red and yellow flags. He made a public announcement that they were temporarily closing the beach and encouraged everybody to vacate the water.

Whilst Simon was treating the casualty, Mark also assisted the lifeguards and helped clear the beach for the air ambulance to land.

Both the air and land ambulance arrived at the scene and, with assistance from the town council’s beach attendant and deputy harbourmaster, kept the beach clear. The casualty was then transported on the spinal board to the land ambulance.

Lyme Regis coastguard also responded after the air ambulance had left the scene and were able to clear a route for the land ambulance to make their way to hospital. At this point, the boy was stable and transferred to the care of the critical care air ambulance doctor.

Lifeguard supervisor Dominik Fajkiel said: “Rescues of this nature highlight the importance of swimming at a lifeguarded beach and keeping an eye on your family. If it wasn’t for the lifeguard’s quick reaction on Sunday, the outcome could have been totally different.

“It doesn’t take a lot of water to get into your lungs before it becomes critical. Luckily we had help from the nearby Lyme Regis lifeboat chairman Mark, who is kindly helping our lifeguards at weekends, along with members of the public.

“All of the tasks involved during this rescue are vital – including providing casualty care, moving the casualty, requesting other emergency services, and clearing the beach for the air ambulance to land safely.

“Alongside making sure the rest of the beach is not neglected, this is not an easy task on a busy summer’s day. We are extremely proud of all involved, including the people who volunteered their time to help.”

air ambulance
Devon Air Ambulance lands on Lyme Regis beach, watched by large crowds on the seafront (photo by Rob James)
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