New RNLI recruit Beau Bromham carries out his first major rescue after a woman and two children become stuck in a rip current.
AN off duty RNLI lifeguard leapt into action to save a mum and her daughter from a vicious rip current at Croyde Beach.
Newly fledged lifeguard Beau Bromham, 21, was just about to enjoy a spot of beach football after work when a woman and two young children were spotted struggling in the water.
A member of the public managed to get a young boy ashore, but the girl was out of her depth and at the mercy of a particularly strong rip tide.
“I didn’t have any equipment with me and wasn’t sure whether to go in, but the girl was really in trouble so I decided I had to,” said Beau, who has been a lifeguard for just two months.
He put his RNLI wetsuit back on and swam out to the girl, who was some 10 metres offshore, put his arm around her and swam her away from the rocks, back to shallow water.
“I swam back out to the woman and a member of the public on a foam surfboard had paddled over and she was holding onto his board,” continued Beau.
“She was very panicked so I tried to reassure and calm her down. “The rip was very strong so I knew I couldn’t swim her back to shore alone, so I talked them through how to both get on the board and paddle and I swam alongside them until we reached the beach.”
The family were reunited at the beach and as the young girl had swallowed some seawater, Beau advised them to seek medical help if she became unwell.
His patrol during the day had been at Woolacombe and he had caught a lift down to Croyde after work to meet friends, not expecting to carry out his first major rescue.
“As it was out-of-hours I had no rescue equipment so it was more challenging, especially in the strong conditions. It was great to do the rescue and be able to help them,” he said.
Vaughan Lawson, RNLI lifeguard supervisor for the area, added: “Beau did a fantastic job in rescuing the two people from the water. His quick reaction to the incident and the use of his extensive RNLI lifeguard training ensured it was a successful outcome, and we congratulate him for his superb efforts.
“Anyone who is using the water out of hours should look at the safety signage at the entrance to the beach and take note of the warnings and advice on local hazards, such as rip currents.
“Always keep hold of your flotation device, such as your bodyboard and paddle parallel to the beach until you are out of the path of the current. Raise your arm and call for help. If you see anyone in difficulty in the water phone 999 and ask for the coastguard.”