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RNLI Lifeguard rescues 8 year-old bodyboarder off Downhill beach

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An RNLI Lifeguard on patrol at Downhill beach on the Causeway Coast this afternoon (Tuesday 11 August) rescued an eight year old boy on a bodyboard after he got into difficulty 50 metres out to sea.

The lifeguard was on patrol when he spotted the child in difficulty and immediately seized his rescue board and ran down the beach and out to the aid of the young boy.

The child had been on a bodyboard outside the red and yellow flags, set up by the lifeguards to indicate the safest area to enjoy the water, when he showed signs of being in difficulty.  RNLI Lifeguard Ray Cunningham was at his side in minutes and took the boy onto the rescue board and proceeded back to the shore where he was met by his mother.

Commenting on the rescue RNLI Lifeguard Ray Cunningham said, ‘It all happened very quickly as with most of these types of emergencies. I spotted the child struggling on his paddle board outside the area of the flags.  He was trying to stay afloat and was too far out from the shore.  Despite attempting to get back to land, he was not getting any closer and was getting distressed. When I arrived on scene I checked that he was okay and brought him to safety.

It was a nice day but we would urge people who want to enjoy the sea to stay between the flags and be vigilant for rip currents.  This young boy was very lucky, he was working so hard to try and get back to the shore but he was going nowhere and becoming exhausted. He was pretty shaken by the ordeal but thankfully had no injuries.’

Image credit : RNLI

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