Two RNLI lifeguards have provided training to members of the Arcadia Bathing Club in Portrush which will enable them to respond as lifeguards in the event of anyone getting into trouble in or near the water.
The offer came about following a discussion between the club and the lifeguards where they realised that if some members of the club had basic lifeguard training they could deal with some emergencies quickly themselves or provide important assistance before further help arrives.
The long-established and popular club swims most days and has had a few incidents in the past where people have fallen on rocks near the water, been stung by jellyfish and weaver fish, or got caught out in rip currents. They felt that if they had the knowledge and training they would be able to help.
The lifeguards, Karl O’Neill and Michael Thompson, who train the RNLI’s lifeguards, looked at the training they provide their people and adapted it for the swimming club.
The members have now qualified as beach lifeguards and have received their certificates. The training started in January and finished last week.
Commenting on the initiative RNLI Lifeguard Supervisor Karl O’Neill said: “We were delighted to be able to help out the Arcadia Bathing Club. This was a great initiative that could be adopted by other groups and organisations. Lifeboat crews and lifeguards like to train with other agencies to be ready for all types of situations. By training people to help immediately on scene they could potentially save a life. These
lifeguards won’t be patrolling beaches but they are trained to the highest standards. Well done to the members who took this step to provide safety support themselves to their club.”