A Busy Season So Far For The Sidmouth Beach Lifeguards

If you have visited Sidmouth over the summer period, you will have noticed a new addition to our beautiful beach. Thanks to a partnership between Sidmouth Independent Lifeboat and East Devon District Council, along with the support of the RNLI, a team of qualified Surf Lifeguards have been monitoring and guarding the area of Sidmouth Beach between the Eastern side of Chit Rocks and Bedford Steps from 10:00 until 18:00 every day, since Monday, 19th July.

Now into their fifth week on service, Lifeguard Supervisor Guy Russell says the team has grown in confidence and experience at a rate of knots.

“They have done brilliantly. They are now all very competent and it’s so cool to see them managing the beach environment. I can genuinely say that the beach is safer place,” says Guy.

With three weeks of the season left to go, the Lifeguards have been kept busy, logging 18 incidents from minor to major first aid, missing swimmers, weaver and jelly fish stings, anaphylaxis, fractures, skimboard injuries with nose bleeds, head and spinal injuries, hyperthermia, assisting a cold and tired surfer, and plenty more. However, any major rescues have been prevented, thanks to the Lifeguards being on patrol.

“We have had some very strong easterly conditions, but because the beach has been patrolled so well, no one has got into serious trouble and everyone has still had a great day on the beach,” says Guy.

When a family got into difficulties on the rock groyne outside the Royal York Hotel last week, a patrolling Lifeguard spotted the incident and was quickly able to assist. The six casualties, who ranged in age from six to 50, sustained multiple cuts, grazes and bruises.

“One of the younger members of the group had slipped on the rocks and was displaying all the signs and symptoms of a head injury with neck pain. As her condition appeared to be worsening, we called an ambulance and monitored her until medical help arrived. The casualty was assessed by paramedics and taken to hospital. She was discharged the next day with concussion, a sprained shoulder and bruising to the neck and we wish her a speedy recovery,” says Guy.

“This was a unique incident, due to volume of people and injuries. The Lifeguards did well and both the family and the paramedics praised them for their efforts,” adds Guy.

A great asset to the beach, the Lifeguard service has received positive feedback from members of the public about the subtle, yet professional vigilance and pro-activeness of the team.

“The general feedback from the public is one of gratitude, lots of thanks and comments of how good it is to see us on the beach. People have even been dropping down cards and boxes of fudge to say thank you, which is very kind,” says Guy.

The Sidmouth Beach Lifeguards will be on duty from 10:00 until 18:00 every day until Sunday, 5th September covering the school summer holidays, which is the busiest time for Sidmouth Beach.

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