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.

0 comments

Other News Stories

Yesterday, 12:35
Syria fundraiser organisers Jake Slee and Jumoké Fernandez at Bideford's Cafe Onboard venue.

Don’t miss ‘Syria’ at cafe Onboard this Saturday (August 27)

Read more
Yesterday, 09:06

South West Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust is expecting more than 10,000 calls over the bank holiday weekend.

Read more
Yesterday, 08:00
Roosting greater horseshoe bats. Picture: John J Kaczanow

Devon Wildlife Trust has teamed up with North Devon AONB for the project.

Read more
Thu, 15:34
RNLI lifeguards have been busy again in 2011 on North Devon beaches. PIC: RNLI.

RNLI lifeguards had a busy week as they rescued people from rip currents and dealt with several serious medical episodes on Croyde and Woolacombe.

Read more
Thu, 11:45
Flora Kyte, Ben Price, Ottelie Kuehne, Hannah Munro-O'Brien, Bethany Lee, Emily Yelland and Helena Reed celebrate top results at South Molton Community College. Picture: Matt Smart

Teenagers across the region opened their results today (Thursday), with more exceptional achievements for schools in the area.

Read more
Thu, 11:39

Mystery surrounds the circumstances as to how the man was found injured in the early hours after Hartland Carnival. Can you help?

Read more
Thu, 10:20
The Seamoor Unit has won a regional award

Seamoor Unit is named ‘best building under £2m’ at the Michelmores Property Awards

Read more
Thu, 09:38
MV Balmoral is welcomed to Bideford. Picture: Graham Hobbs

The vessel arrived in Bideford with 224 passengers as was greeted by the mayor and town crier.

Read more
Thu, 09:34
A pop-up night club transformed the Wrey Arms pub in Sticklepath, Barnstaple. Picture: Contributed

First pop-up club is held at The Wrey Arms with disco, lights and plenty of party spirit.

Read more
Thu, 09:06
Councillors Des Brailey and Dick Jones at the Maple Grove land before it was cleared.

Wasteland is tidied up and given over to community use

Read more

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 22°C

min temp: 14°C

Most Read News

Useful Links

Advertise in the paper
Submit a Story
Subscribe to the paper
Competitions
North Devon Football League
Order Photos
Family notices
iwitness24
Facebook
Twitter
Google Plus Page
Reader Travel

Family Notices 24

Read Online

Image
Read the North Devon Gazette e-edition E-edition

Newsletter Sign Up

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Local business directory

North Devon's trusted business finder

Find planning applications