Off duty lifeguards rescue swimmer injured in 'strong waves' at Southwold

Callum Swatman, one of the off duty Southwold RNLI lifeguards involved. He is pictured on the left in this image.

Callum Swatman, one of the off duty Southwold RNLI lifeguards involved in the incident. He is pictured on the left in this image. - Credit: RNLI/Derry Salter

A man who dislocated his shoulder while swimming in "strong waves" at sea in Southwold was rescued by three off duty lifeguards.

The trio of RNLI Southwold lifeguards were hailed for their prompt early morning actions as they rushed to the aid of the injured swimmer.

The drama unfolded at about 8.45am last Thursday, August 26, when the off duty Southwold RNLI lifeguards had arrived at the beach to undertake some training before the start of their shift at 10am.

The trio - Ella Tolliday, Owen Webster and Callum Swatman - were practicing on the rescue boards near the water’s edge when they noticed a man about 50m away waving.

A spokesman for the RNLI lifeguards said: "Callum instantly paddled over to the man, who began shouting for help, whilst Ella and Owen returned to the lifeguard unit to grab rescue tubes.

"The duo went to support Callum, who had assisted the injured man onto his rescue board."

After alerting the Coastguards and requesting a medical responder bag as the man had dislocated his shoulder, the spokesman added: "The lifeguard team suspected the injury came as a result of the massive shore dump and strong waves brought with the grey weather."

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With the charity’s lifeguards carefully assisting the man back to shore where he received casualty care, the spokesman added: "The man felt increasingly faint and the coastguards arrived to help the RNLI Southwold team keep the casualty in as little pain as possible."

Fellow Southwold lifeguards Arna Tolliday and Jamie Goodhead arrived just before 10am to begin their shift and they helped their colleagues by ensuring the man was as comfortable as possible before the ambulance arrived.

Lead lifeguard supervisor Ted Morgan praised his off-duty lifeguard team. 

He said: "Our lifeguards are well trained in casualty care so that they can provide essential treatment whilst waiting for an ambulance to arrive.

"It was great that the man chose to visit a lifeguarded beach.

"However, we advise people to only swim during our lifeguard operating hours which are 10am to 6pm.

"That way one of our lifeguards will certainly be around to assist you as soon as you find yourself in trouble."

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