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A swimmer was found unconscious at Sandbanks

RNLI lifeguard jetski
Photo by beames.info (CC by 2.0)

George Clowes, an RNLI Lifeguard spotted an unconscious swimmer floating 20 metres from the shore at Sandbanks Beach in the afternoon of 24th June.

When George spotted the unconscious swimmer, he also saw another man scrambling onto an unsafe rocky groyne in a bid for help.

George alerted his lifeguard colleagues to the problem and jumped into the water with his rescue tube.

His colleague, Andrew Bufton (an RNLI lifeguard) headed to the scene on his jet ski rescue craft. When the two lifeguards reached the man in the water, he was unconscious but breathing.

They pulled the man onto the rescue craft and took the man to the shore for treatment, while another lifeguard, Greg Lang, swam out to assist the second man who was holding onto the groyne and shouting for help. He was safely brought to the shore.

RNLI lifeguards assisted both men, placing the unconscious man into the recovery position before being handing him over into the care of the ambulance crew who took the man to the hospital.

The man who was holding onto the groyne suffered from several bruises and cuts, and was shaken up by the incident.

It is reported that the incident took place near the BBQ area at Sandbanks beach, at the second groyne west of Sandbanks.

Lifeguard duty supervisor Steve Chizlett, praised the quick-thinking of the lifeguards, stating that in this situation, with a casualty facedown in the water, another minute could have seen a fatality at the beach.

We continue to see unprecedented numbers of people taking to the coast during this recent hot spell. With the beaches so crowded and with social distancing in place our lifeguards are working as hard as they can to keep everybody safe, but they can’t be everywhere.

We would urge people to read as much safety advice as possible before they arrive at the beach, make sure if they do swim they do so between the red and yellow flags, if those are in place, and make sure they are aware of local conditions and tide timetables.

This incident could so easily have ended in a tragic loss of life had not one of our lifeguards, who are watching over packed beaches, spotted these two people who were in danger

RNLI Area Lifesaving Manager Seb Pinkard
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