Lifeguards issue further water safety warning after two rescues

Published Tuesday, 30th July 2019

Beach lifeguards at Seaton Carew are again warning people to take care in the water and only swim in the designated bathing area after carrying out two rescues.

In one rescue, Beach Lifeguard Supervisor Simon Almond took to his rescue board to help two girls aged 12 and 15 who had got into difficulty swimming outside the safe swimming area, which is marked by red and yellow flags and is where the lifeguards patrol.

“We had been reminding people all day to swim within the area marked by the flags and I spotted two people who were about 100 metres outside of that area and were also a bit further out from the other swimmers,” said 30-year-old Simon, who has been a North-East lifeguard for 13 years, including eight at Seaton Carew.

“The 12-year-old was in quite a bit of distress and I got her onto the rescue board and paddled her back to shore, returning immediately for her companion.

“They had been trying to swim back against an offshore wind but were making no progress. If I hadn’t seen them, I certainly don’t think the 12-year-old would have made it back.”

Simon Almond and Mohamed Hai, pictured with a rescue board beside one of the red and yellow marker flags.

Simon Almond and Mohamed Hai beside one of the red and yellow marker flags

In the second rescue, Beach Lifeguard Mohamed Hai, who has been a Seaton Carew lifeguard for the past three years, went to help a teenager who was inside the swimming area but was starting to get out of his depth.

“One of his friends ran over to say that he couldn’t swim – his head was out of the water but there was an offshore wind and you have to be very careful as that can take you further out without you noticing,” said Mohamed, who is 21. “He held on to my rescue board and I got him back to the shore.”

Debbie Kershaw, Hartlepool Borough Council’s Quality and Safety Officer who oversees the lifeguards, said: “We want people to enjoy their day on the beach, but they need to take care at all times when in the water.

“We would strongly urge them to read the safety advice signs when they arrive at the beach, take advice from the lifeguards and above all – only swim in the area marked by the red and yellow flags, which is where the lifeguards patrol.”