Displaying items by tag: lifeguards
#WaterSafety - The Guardian reports on a remarkable evening for lifeguards on Cornwall's Polzeath beach yesterday (Tuesday 12 August) when 32 people had to be rescued from am "incredibly strong" rip current.
The seven bathers and 25 bodyboarders had reportedly fallen from a sand bank "straight into the path of the rip current" at the northern end of the beach, according to senior lifeguard Ben Miskowicz.
The Guardian has more on the story HERE.
The RNLI programme, which is now being run for the third year in Northern Ireland, will show surfers how to develop their rescue techniques, learn basic first aid and surf etiquette and learn them how to help themselves and others if they get into trouble in the surf.
More people are taking to the sea every year for enjoyment and the Causeway Coast is a popular area for water sports including surfing and body boarding. The clinics have proved popular with surfers who use them as a chance to brush up on their knowledge and skills and pass on their experiences to others.
There are 10 seasonal RNLI lifeguarded units in Northern Ireland, each equipped with lifeguards ready to respond in the event of an emergency. RNLI lifeguards aim to reach any casualty up to 300m from shore within the red and yellow flags within three and a half minutes. Lifeguards are also on hand to provide advice and assistance to all water users.
Last year, Northern Ireland experienced one of its hottest summers for years and this was reflected in a busy season for the lifeguards located across the Causeway Coast in Co Down.
In all, RNLI lifeguards responded to 302 incidents compared to 159 in 2012 and came to the aid of 330 people who found themselves in difficulty, which is an increase of 153 from the year before.
The Causeway Coast, where there are seven units, was the busiest area, with lifeguards responding to 222 incidents and assisting 247 people.
Speaking ahead of next weekend’s clinics, RNLI lifeguard supervisor Tim Doran said: “Surfers of all abilities will benefit from the Surfers Survival Clinic. Amateur surfers will get the chance to learn safety skills, duck diving and surf etiquette which should help them minimise any injuries should they get into trouble.
“The more experienced surfer will be shown rescue and first aid demonstrations so that they can continue developing their skills in the surf.”
Spaces are limited for each session so advance booking is essential to avoid disappointment. Anyone who wishes to take part in the RNLI’s Surfers Survival Clinic should be aged 18. To book a space or for more information contact Tim on +44 (0) 77 899 25998.
Appointments will be made from a panel of successful candidates, each of whom must be at least 17 years of age on 13 May 2014 and must hold a current Irish Water Safety National Beach Lifeguard Qualification, Royal Life Saving Society of Ireland (RLSS) certification or equivalent as recognised by the International Lifesaving Federation (ILS).
All candidates successful at interview will be required to undergo a practical test in basic life support (BLS), swimming ability, lifesaving techniques and a theory test conducted by an examiner(s) nominated by Irish Water Safety.
Candidates successful at interview must be prepared to undergo a test in swimming under competent judges (date and venue to be decided). To assist potential candidates to achieve the Beach Lifeguard Award, the following training will be provided by:
Paul Devins with Irish Water Safety (contact 087 254 2700)
Kevin Coyle with the RLSS (contact 086 343 1793)
The wage rate is €10.61 per hour plus appropriate differentials.
Successful candidates, when offered the position of lifeguard, will be subject to Garda vetting. Please note that the Garda Vetting Form is only available in hard copy, and must be fully completed by every candidate.
The Parent/Guardian Consent Form should only be completed in respect of candidates who are under 18 years.
Application forms and full particulars of office for the above posts may be obtained from the Information Desk, County Hall, Marine Road, Dun Laoghaire, Co Dublin or Human Resources Department (Tel: 01 205 4700, Ext 4218, 4246) or from the County Council Office, Dundrum Office Park, Main Street, Dundrum, or by email to [email protected]
Completed application forms should be returned to the Human Resources Department not later than 4.30pm on Friday 7 March 2014. Candidates may be shortlisted based on the information supplied on the application forms.
Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council is an equal opportunities employer.
#rescue – The CEO of Irish Water Safety, John leech is urging the public to use the Local Authority manned lifeguarded bathing places to ensure there are no more tragedies this summer. Take heed of advice given by the lifeguards and supervise your children, lifeguards are not baby sitters.
Irish Water Safety Lifeguards rescued 559 casualties from our beaches, rivers and lakes during the month of July, that is over 160 more than for the entire bathing season last year.
There were 575 lost children reunited with their parents which is 250 more than for the entire bathing season last year.
There were another 11,421 accidents prevented by the proactive actions of our lifeguards.
The Irish Independent reports that Seán Bán Breathnach was believed to be caught in a rip current while swimming at the popular seaside haunt on a break from broadcasting for Radio Na Gaeltachta in the area.
Speaking after, Breathnach put down the incident as "nothing really", saying he "wasn't out of my depth, I was just bobbing up and down".
Despite this, rip currents such as that he was caught in are never to be taken lightly - as last week's rescue of a family of six at Castlerock beach in Co Derry proves all too true.
And with the death toll from drownings around Ireland during this week's heatwave reaching five as of yesterday, the risks associated with the water are very real.
Senior RNLI lifeguard Gordon Clark was patrolling busy Castlerock beach when at he noticed a person in the water waving for help a short distance to the right of the flagged zone on the beach around 5.30pm.
The family of six – including a man, woman and four children – were all on bodyboards when they got caught in what appeared to be a flash rip, a strong current running out to sea.
After radioing for assistance, Clark swiftly entered the sea with a rescue tube. He was quickly joined in the rescue operation by his RNLI lifeguard colleagues Jenny Thompson and Ray Cunningham.
Clark and Thompson proceeded to safely ferry the children, followed by their parents, to the shore, where they were checked over to ensure they hadn’t taken on any water. All were safe and well.
Speaking following the rescue, Mike Grocott, RNLI lifeguard manager for Northern Ireland, said: "Rip currents often catch people out because they can be difficult to spot, and research shows that most people don’t know how to identify one. They are a major cause of incidents that the RNLI’s lifeguards deal with each season.
"Anyone who gets caught in a rip should try to remain calm, raise their arm in the air to signal for help like the family member did today. If they feel they can swim, they should swim parallel to the beach until free of the current, and then head for shore."
With temperatures expected to soar this week, Grocott reminded people to be mindful of the RNLI’s key safety recommendations – choose a lifeguarded beach and swim between the red and yellow flags, which mark the safest area to swim and are an indicator that lifeguards are on duty.
The station currently has 17 lifeboat and two shore crew to cover its inshore service on Strangford Lough but is now calling on new volunteers to come forward and find out how they can get involved in helping the charity continue to save lives at sea.
To that end, the station will be hosting two open days early next month for all interested candidates to learn more.
"We are looking for anyone aged 17 years and over who is willing to offer some of their free time to join what I believe to be, one of the most exhilarating and rewarding voluntary services that is out there," said lifeboat operations manager Brian Bailie.
"Every volunteer receives first class training from the RNLI and learns new skills which can benefit them in many walks of life. Lifeboat crew members need to have a reasonable level of fitness, have good eyesight and not be colour-blind."
He added: "Anyone who would like to volunteer but feels they would not meet the requirements for lifeboat crew should in no way be put off, as shore crew also play an essential role in the launch and recovery of the lifeboat when it goes on service."
For anyone who feels they have the time and commitment to volunteer for the charity which is on call 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, is asked to email Brian at [email protected].
Alternatively, prospective volunteers can come along to the station’s open days from 7-9pm next Tuesday 7 May or from 2-4pm next Saturday 11 May.
Elsewhere in Northern Ireland, primary school children will have the opportunity to hit the surf with RNLI lifeguards over the next month.
The charity’s ‘Hit the Surf’ programme runs from 7 May to 7 June on the East Strand Beach in Portrush.
Aimed at primary five to seven pupils aged eight to 11, the programme - which is expanding to accommodate more schools this year - gives children a unique opportunity to gain practical lessons in lifesaving and beach safety. All equipment is provided free of charge.
Each session lasts two-and-a half-hours and includes a theory lesson on staying safe at the beach, the role of beach lifeguards and the RNLI, and detailed information on flags and rip currents.
There are practical lessons in lifesaving and surf based skills, while lifeguards aim to build pupils confidence in the sea. Children also learn about the local hazards and the beach environment.
Sessions are still available for schools who want to book pupils in. For more information contact Jessica on 0777 441 4208 or email [email protected]
Last year RNLI lifeguards located on beaches in Co Down and along the Causeway Coast responded to 158 incidents and assisted 176 people who found themselves in difficulty.
The Magazine starts on Sunday 7 April at 7.30pm with host Sarah Travers in her home town of Portstewart to introduce viewers to some of her favourite people, places and topics.
As part of the first programme, TV presenter Emma-Rosa Dias will find out what it takes to be a lifeguard with the RNLI when she visits the charity’s area support centre in Ballymoney - before being put through her paces by RNLI lifeguard supervisor Tim Doran to see if she is ready for the challenge.
After a test in the swimming pool, Dias experiences a slice of the real thing when she pays a visit to Portrush East Strand on the Causeway Coast, one of the five beaches in Northern Ireland which begins its Easter season on Good Friday tomorrow 29 March.
As previously reported on Afloat.ie, this lifeguard cover will run throughout Easter week until Sunday 7 April.
Filming took place on Monday afternoon and despite the unseasonal weather, the charity’s highly trained lifeguards took the opportunity to demonstrate that they will be ready to assist the visitors who will brave the elements and take a trip to the seaside over the Easter break.
Speaking following the afternoon’s shoot, Tim Doran said filming with UTV was a great way to show how highly trained RNLI lifeguards are.
"Our lifeguards spot potential dangers before they develop, and are on hand to give appropriate safety advice and respond immediately if anyone gets into difficulty," he said. "Because our lifeguards work closely alongside our volunteer lifeboat crews, it means the RNLI offers beach-goers and water-users a seamless rescue service from beach to open sea."
While Easter is often the time when people are getting back in the water after the winter, and while it’s good to see people enjoying the beaches, the RNLI is encouraging visitors to make sure they have the right kit to keep warm.
"It’s much colder now then it was this time last year," Doran added, "and our lifeguards will be wrapping up and we’d encourage everyone else to do the same. So, if you are heading into the sea, make sure you’re wearing a good wetsuit or drysuit, go with other people and keep an eye on each other.
"Keeping warm in cold weather can take a lot of energy, so fatigue can be an issue, plus watch out for the wind chill factor – even a slight breeze can have a dramatic effect on how cold it feels."
Meanwhile, to find out how Emma-Rosa Dias gets on, tune into UTV at 7.30pm on Sunday 7 April.
For the second year running, lifeguards will be patrolling Tyrella Beach in Co Down, and for the third year will be ready to offer safety advice and assistance on Benone Strand on the north coast.
In addition this Easter, lifeguards will also be patrolling Portstewart Strand, Portrush East Strand and Whiterocks beach, all of which are located along the Causeway Coast.
The cover commences on Good Friday 29 March and will run throughout Easter week until Sunday 7 April.
Despite the unseasonal weather, the charity’s highly trained lifeguards will be ready to assist visitors who brave the elements and take a trip to the seaside over the Easter break.
The lifeguards will operate on Benone, Portstewart, East Strand and Whiterocks from 11am to 7pm, and from 10am to 6pm on Tyrella Beach.
RNLI regional lifeguard manager Mike Grocott said: "Our highly trained lifeguards spot potential dangers before they develop, and are on hand to give appropriate safety advice and respond immediately if anyone gets into difficulty.
"Because our lifeguards work closely alongside our volunteer lifeboat crews, it means the RNLI offers beachgoers and water-users a seamless rescue service from beach to open sea."
The RNLI started providing lifeguard cover on Northern Ireland beaches in 2011, working with Coleraine Borough Council, Limavady Borough Council and the National Trust - and going into its third season now has lifeguards on 10 beaches.
Last year, lifeguards in the areas of Newry and Mourne District Council, Down District Council and the Causeway Coast together responded to 158 incidents and assisted 176 people.
Speaking ahead of the Easter holidays, RNLI lifeguard supervisor Tim Doran encouraged anyone planning a trip to the beach to keep safe.
"Always swim at a lifeguarded beach. Never use inflatables in strong winds or rough seas and check tide times before you go," he said. "If you get into trouble, stick your hand in the air and shout for help and if you see someone else in trouble, tell a lifeguard. If you can’t see a lifeguard, call 999 or 112 and ask for the coastguard."
The RNLI is also encouraging anyone planning a trip to the seaside this year to download its ‘Beach Finder’ mobile app.
The handy app makes it easy to find the nearest lifeguarded beach, and gives users a wealth of beach safety information at their fingertips.
Real-time weather information and a five-day forecast for each location is also included with the app – ideal for anyone wondering whether they’ll need to pack their suncream or waterproofs!
The app is available to download free of charge on both Android and iOS devices from www.rnli.org/beach.
The successful candidates will become part of the RNLI’s beach lifeguard team who will monitor and advise the public of any dangers or hazards and carry out rescues.
The charity provides a seasonal service on seven beaches along the Causeway Coast including Benone, Downhill, Castlerock, Portstewart Strand, Portrush West Bay & East Strand and Whiterocks.
This is the third year the lifeboat charity’s lifeguards have provided a lifeguard service in Northern Ireland, offering beach-goers and water users a seamless rescue service from the beach to open sea working alongside RNLI lifeboats.
The closing date for applicants is Sunday 17 February 2013. A detailed description of the RNLI lifeguard role is available at www.rnli.org/lifeguards.
A key part of an RNLI lifeguard's job is to spot dangers before they develop, and 95% of their role is preventative. Their presence on the beach provides reassurance to the public while also offering any help or advice to help people enjoy their beach experience in a safe environment.
To many beach users they are a reassuring presence but they also carry out many other important functions. They assess the conditions on the beach and place zone flags and warning signs to advise the public. They carry out rescues to help people who have got into difficulty in the water or who need assistance. They also provide first aid, help with lost children, give advice, report hazards, and assist with beach safety and education programmes. They train and preform to their duties to the highest RNLI standards.
The RNLI has about 50 positions available and many former lifeguards are expected to return for the new season. However, there are a number of positions vacant and the charity would like to hear from interested people. The minimum age for applicants is 16 years and candidates must have a high level of fitness.
Mike Grocott, RNLI lifeguard manager for Northern Ireland, said: “RNLI lifeguards are a vital part of the charity’s lifesaving service. Last year they dealt with 126 incidents and assisted 142 people on the Causeway Coast.
"It is a fantastic opportunity for people to do a job that is both fulfilling and enjoyable. Our lifeguards speak to hundreds of people over the course of the season and get the opportunity to do something important and rewarding in the community.
"The ideal applicant will already hold an International Lifesaving Approved Beach Lifeguard Award but if candidates need to get qualified we can put them in touch with local providers of courses.”
Limavady and Coleraine Councils along with the National Trust provide funding towards the lifeguards’ wages while the RNLI funds the training and equipment.