RNLI lifeguards on Tenby’s South beach were called out to assist paddleboarders in difficulty on eight separate occasions on Saturday (July 9) as families headed to the coast to enjoy the hot weather.
The first incident of the day was to a teenage girl who had fallen off her paddleboard and was swept out to sea. An RNLI lifeguard was alerted to the teenager, who was clinging on to her paddleboard, and paddled out on the rescue board to assist. The offshore winds meant the teenager, who couldn’t swim, was swept out faster than the lifeguard could paddle as the young girl was swept nearly a kilometre out to sea. Fortunately, the teenager was spotted by a passing boat and assisted out of the water.
As the day continued, the charity’s lifeguards on Tenby South beach were called out another seven times to assist people struggling against the tide or being swept out to sea on stand-up paddleboards. On each occasion the charity’s lifeguards paddled out and assisted the casualties back to shore. Once assessed, each person was given safety advice before continuing with their day.
Oliver Davies-Scourfield, RNLI Lifeguard Supervisor said:
“It was great to see so many families enjoying the coast and heeding the charity’s advice by visiting a lifeguarded beach over the weekend. Paddleboarding is a great way to enjoy the water but it’s important to enjoy the activity safely.
“Never try and paddleboard in offshore winds and always check the tide tides before you go. Offshore winds will make it difficult for you to paddle back to shore, and if the tide is also against you, you are likely to use all your energy paddling, only to find you’re being swept further out to sea. If you do find yourself in trouble, stay with your board – this will help keep you afloat until further help arrives. Also, like all water activity, make sure you carry a means of calling for help and wear a floatation device as this will help keep you safe if you fall into the water unexpectedly.”