Off-duty lifeguard helps seven caught in Whitesands rip
5:07pm Thursday 30th August 2012 in News
An RNLI lifeguard has been praised for his quick thinking, after he helped seven people caught in a rip current at Whitesands beach on Tuesday night, while he was off-duty.
Tom Thurstan rescued three people and assisted a further four after he noticed that two families had been caught in the rip at the beach near St Davids.
Twenty-year-old lifeguard Tom had been working with the charity on Newgale beach all day when he decided to travel to Whitesands for a surfing session after work.
Tom arrived at the beach at 7pm to find that seven people had been caught in a rip current and were struggling in the sea.
Tom paddled out on his surf board to a father and his son; the young boy was struggling in the waves in a rubber dinghy. Tom instructed the two to hold on to his surf board and pulled them safely to shore.
The charity’s lifeguard then quickly paddled back out to sea to assist two brothers who had been caught in the rip current whilst body boarding. Again, Tom instructed the two boys, aged 10 and 13, to hold on to his surf board before safely escorting them back to shore.
Tom then returned to the water to assist another man and his son who were also caught in a rip current and in difficulty. A woman had tried to swim out to assist her family but was also caught in the rip. Tom once again paddled all three back to shore.
RNLI Lifeguard Supervisor Stuart Penfold said: "Tom did a great job on Tuesday night rescuing three people and assisting another four persons caught in a rip current at Whitesands beach. Tom’s quick thinking and training made sure that all involved were safely brought back to shore."