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RNLI Lifeguards Help To Bring Sand Dune Fire Under Control On Benone Strand

19th May 2015
Benone Strand Dune Fire
The dune fire at Benone Strand stopped before it could do any more damage RNLI
RNLI Lifeguards Help To Bring Sand Dune Fire Under Control On Benone Strand

#RNLI - RNLI lifeguards on the Causeway Coast helped to bring a sand dune fire under control at the weekend.

Lifeguards Jenny Thompson, Liam Mullan, James Walton and Jordan Burns were patrolling Benone Strand near Coleraine on Saturday afternoon (16 May) when, shortly after 3pm, they spotted smoke emerging from the sand dunes as they were preparing to enter the water to do some training.

One lifeguard went to investigate the incident some 400m from the rear of the lifeguard hut and observed a large fire which was spreading fast due to a strong easterly wind.

The lifeguards contacted the Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service before going to the scene themselves and bringing the fire under control within 10 minutes using fire extinguishers and shovels.

While continuing to maintain an operational and safe beach, the lifeguards ensured that no one was in any danger.

The lifeguards were assisted by staff from the nearby Benone tourist complex who provided the extinguishers, the beach rangers and some members of the Order of Malta who had been providing medical cover for a half marathon which had just finished on the beach.

RNLI senior lifeguard Liam Mullan explained: "The strong easterly wind was a big factor on how fast the fire was growing and how hot it was burning. Thankfully once on scene, we were able to bring the fire under control in about 10 minutes.

"Everyone reacted quickly and worked together using the water to contain the fire to stop it traveling with the wind. We then worked from behind the blaze using the wind to keep the smoke away from us. Using shovels, we brought the flames under control."

Speaking following the incident, Tim Doran, RNLI lifeguard supervisor, said: "While the primary role of a lifeguard is ensuring people’s safety in the water, they also have a duty of care for all members of the public when on land too.

"RNLI lifeguards have a good knowledge of beach access and the surrounding areas and we would encourage any concerned member of the public who comes across such fires to raise the alarm with the lifeguards on patrol who can respond and alert their colleagues in the fire service."

Published in Coastal Notes
MacDara Conroy

About The Author

MacDara Conroy

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MacDara Conroy is a contributor covering all things on the water, from boating and wildlife to science and business

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