Don't miss a story sign up to the North Devon Gazette's FREE daily newsletter CLICK HERE

‘Humbling’ African adventure for lifeguard

09:49 03 January 2013

Vaughan Lawson carrying out training in Senegal. Picture: RNLI, Mike Lavis.

Vaughan Lawson carrying out training in Senegal. Picture: RNLI, Mike Lavis.

RNLI, Mike Lavis.

North Devon and Bude RNLI lifeguard manager returns from a trip training the locals in Senegal.

An RNLI lifeguard from North Devon has returned from a ‘rewarding and humbling’ trip helping to train lifeguards in Senegal to form their own dedicated lifesaving service.

Vaughan Lawson, RNLI lifeguard manager for North Devon and Bude, and his colleague Tim Doran from Northern Ireland’s Causeway Coast have returned from Dakar in the African country, following two weeks training volunteer and full-time lifesavers.

The rigorous training has equipped the lifeguards with vital knowledge and skills to help save more lives from drowning.

“There is currently no lifeguard standard in Senegal so we were able to successfully train 25 lifeguards to the international lifeguard certificate level,” said Vaughan.

“The Senegalese lifeguards work in very difficult conditions with very little equipment, sharing one whistle between four across a one kilometre stretch of beach.

“It was a real eye-opener to see how their lifeguard service is set up and made me realise how fortunate we are in the UK to have access to specialist equipment, which is vital for saving lives.”

Vaughan and Tim trained both lifeguards and members of the fire service, who will undertake regular beach patrols, and six instructors as specialists, who will teach lifesaving skills to others.

The course covered the important first steps of lifeguarding, including recognising when a person is in distress; how to use rescue equipment; beach surveillance; risk assessments, plus rescuing and treating a casualty.

“The lifeguards there are amongst the most highly motivated I’ve ever come across,” added Vaughan.

“They’re very hardworking and diligent. It was a very rewarding and humbling experience and a very worthwhile feeling that we’ve been able to help.”

RNLI lifeguard and lifeboat trainers have recently returned from Bangladesh, where they provided lifesaving training to 60 lifeguards, delivered search and rescue training to 58 Coast Guards and helped establish a new coastal safety education programme for schools.

The charity’s international development activity has included work with countries such as Cameroon, Uganda, India, Philippines, Mauritius, the British Virgin Islands and Thailand.

The RNLI is also working with international children’s charity Plan International to develop a pan-African swim-safe programme for children from 2013.


Other News Stories

John Balls with Clovelly caught lobsters.

Lobster fisherman has reached a landmark in his bid to help conservation at Clovelly

Read more
Is the row over dogs back at Instow beach?

Parish Council meeting on Thursday, October 15 to review the situation

Read more
Residents protest against the plans at the site in March. Picture: Jim Bell

Benefits outweigh the harm, says Government inspector

Read more
Get your chickens an Eglu and help raise money for the British Hen Welfare Trust today (Friday).

Support for British Hen Welfare Trust from the Omlet Eglu

Read more
Police are trying to track the car in this picture

The owner of a blue Nissan Almeira could have vital information on collision that killed Natalie Jones, say police

Read more

September saw a 4.9 per cent increase in crime in Barnstaple on the same period last year.

Read more
Portmore's Colin and Mandy Webber presented the cheque to representatives of the club's chosen charities

Five local charities are to benefit from another year of fundraising at Portmore Golf Club.

Read more
Yesterday, 17:17

Fire called out to help in the early hours of Thursday morning

Read more
Yesterday, 13:20
A busy Woolacombe Bay. North Devon has seen a welcome late summer boost in tourism this year

Tourism sectors across the region are reaping the benefits as a result of the late summer sunshine.

Read more
Yesterday, 12:06
Giant veg grower David Maund picked up a number of placings at the Malvern Autumn Show

A giant-vegetable grower from Bideford has returned from a national competition with a prize haul almost as big as some of his extraordinary exhibits.

Read more

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 15°C

min temp: 10°C

Most Read News

Great British Life

Great British Life

Useful Links

Advertise in the paper
Submit a Story
Subscribe to the paper
North Devon Football League
Order Photos
Family notices
Google Plus Page
Reader Travel

Family Notices 24

Read Online

Read the North Devon Gazette e-edition E-edition

Search for a job in Devon

Local business directory

North Devon's trusted business finder

Find planning applications