RNLI lifeguards have rescued a man who found himself in difficulty on Castlerock Beach this afternoon.
Shortly before 12.30pm, Senior Lifeguard Damian McCauley was assisting two vehicles which had got stuck in soft sand at the entrance to the beach when he heard a man call from one of the cars and wave for help.
The man who was on his own in the car was hunched over, his arms were shaking and he was struggling to breathe. His voice was hoarse and weak.
Damian immediately ran for the lifeguard’s first aid responder bag and using his training, began to deliver casualty care.
Meanwhile, lifeguard Beth Montgomery who was acting as the communications liaison alerted the Coastguard and the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service.
Lifeguard Conor O’Callaghan ensured the beach which had about 300 people visiting at the time and with 40 people in the water, remained open, by patrolling between the red and yellow flags.
On monitoring the casualty’s breathing, Damian observed that oxygen was required and using the RNLI apparatus, proceeded to ensure the man got this.
He continued to carry out casualty care while talking to the man for 25 minutes until the other emergency services arrived. The man began to respond to the oxygen and was then transferred from his car to an ambulance and brought to the Causeway Hospital in Coleraine.
Speaking following the rescue, Tim Doran, RNLI Lifeguard Supervisor said: “We would like to wish this gentleman well and hope he makes a speedy recovery following his ordeal this afternoon. He managed to raise the alarm quickly when he found himself in difficulty today and thankfully our lifeguards were able to respond immediately and give him the medical attention he needed right away.
“This rescue is testament to the first aid training our lifeguards have and to the equipment we carry on the beaches which ensure we can deliver good casualty care.
“Our lifeguards worked well together today to deal with the emergency, liaise with the other emergency services and keep patrol of the remainder of the beach. This incident is another example of how our lifeguards vigilance is as important on the beach dealing with land based incidents as it is when patrolling incidents that unfold in the water.”