Man airlifted to hospital from beach given 'vital first aid' by lifeguards

The East Anglian Air Ambulance after landing on Southwold beach.

The East Anglian Air Ambulance after landing on Southwold beach. - Credit: The Southwold North RNLI team

Lifeguards raced to the aid of a man who had collapsed at a popular beach.

RNLI lifeguards at Southwold North and South teamed up to assist with first aid before ambulance crews arrived on Saturday, July 24.

The drama unfolded at around 1.30pm after the Southwold South lifeguards were alerted to a man in his 30s who had collapsed on the beach.

A spokesman said: "When two of the charity’s lifeguards, Nicko Moore and Callum Swatman, arrived at the scene- directly between the two Southwold lifeguard bases - the casualty was having a seizure."

With a friend of the man having already called an ambulance, the Southwold South team provided vital first aid after assessing that the man was unresponsive.

The Southwold North RNLI team was then informed and lifeguard Ella Tolliday arrived with a responder bag, as the man was put in the recovery position and given oxygen.

The spokesman added: "Shortly after, two ambulances arrived to take over the first aid, so the lifeguards kept the public away from the incident.

"However, after the man’s conditioned worsened, an air ambulance was called."

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The lifeguards created a perimeter for the air ambulance to land, before assisting as the man was placed on the UK Coastguard’s spinal board in a stable condition.

Praising the efforts of the lifeguards, RNLI Lead Lifeguard Supervisor, Ted Morgan, said: "Our lifeguards are excellently trained in casualty care so that they can provide lifesaving treatment on the beaches.

"We urge people to visit a lifeguarded beach this summer, as our lifeguards will often be the first on the scene if an incident occurs.

"Their first aid experience is vital when waiting for an ambulance to arrive."

With the air ambulance scrambled to Southwold at 2.23pm, the helicopter landed at the scene.

A spokesman for the East Anglian Air Ambulance said the man was given a full assessment with "enhanced care, including administering advanced medication," provided.

"The man was then flown to the James Paget University Hospital in Gorleston for further treatment," the spokesman said.

If you find yourself in any trouble this summer dial 999 for the Coastguard.

For more safety information visit https://rnli.org/safety/beach-safety

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