Lowestoft lifeguard, 19, rescues young boy from dangerous rip current

RNLI lifeguard Hal Tooley,19, from who rescued a young swimmer caught in a rip current at Lowestoft

RNLI lifeguard Hal Tooley,19, from who rescued a young swimmer caught in a rip current at Lowestoft Beach. Photo: RNLI. - Credit: Archant

A Lowestoft lifeguard was praised after his quick reactions saved the life of a young boy caught in a rip current.

Senior RNLI Lifeguard Hal Tooley, 19, spotted the boy in difficulty as he was caught in a rip current about 50 metres outside the RNLI patrolled zone – marked by red and yellow flags – off Lowestoft beach.

As the boy mounted a groyne in panic, about 150ft offshore, Mr Tooley dived into the water and carried out the rescue off Lowestoft beach last Thursday, August 17.

The incident happened at 5pm when Mr Tooley spotted the boy in a distressed state.

He took to the water with a lifeguard rescue tube and as he arrived at the groyne he convinced the boy to get back into the water so he could clip him to the tube.

Once secured the lifeguard towed the young swimmer safely back to shore.

The pair were met by the boy's distraught father and a round of applause from members of the public who had witnessed the rescue.

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Liam Fayle-Parr, lifeguard supervisor, said: 'This incident shows how quickly swimmers can get into difficulty, particularly where rip currents occur.

'It was high tide at the time and the current was pulling the boy around the end of the groyne into deeper water.

'It was too strong for the boy to swim against.'

Mr Fayle-Parr went on to praise the young lifeguard for his quick-thinking and spotting of the incident.

He said: 'Hal has been with us for several seasons now and is a brilliant lifeguard.

'He is a really strong swimmer and is incredibly dedicated to his job.'

He added: 'It was very fortunate that he spotted the swimmer outside the zone and we would always advise people to swim within the red and yellow flags which mark the area covered by our lifeguards.'

RNLI lifeguards saved 127 lives while patrolling more than 240 beaches in the UK and Channel Islands last year.

As well as rescuing people from the water they also receive extensive training in responding to medical emergencies.

In total the charity's lifeguards helped 20,538 people.

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