A 16-year-old lifeguard in England has helped save a man’s life just 13 minutes into her first day of work after he suffered a suspected heart attack on a beach.
Sydney Horsted had only started work at 10am on Sunday and was carrying out her first patrol on the south coast of England when lifeguards received a call for help at 10.13am.
A man was suffering chest pains on the beach near the Pyramids leisure centre on Southsea beach in Hampshire and urgently needed medical care.
A member of the public dialled 999 and lifeguards were called by the ambulance service to go to the man’s aid while an ambulance was despatched.
Rogan Wheeldon, RNLI lifeguard supervisor for Southsea, said: “Sydney was on her first ever day at work when the call came through that a man had suffered a suspected heart attack.
“All RNLI lifeguards are highly trained in casualty care, which is a form of advanced first aid. Because of this we’re designated as first responders which means when there is an medical emergency on or near the beach, the ambulance service will call us to respond and we’re usually first on scene.
“Our lifeguards Naomi Groome and Elliott Daley dashed over to help the man while Sidney co-ordinated communication between the ambulance service and lifeguards, while also helping to ensure the water remained under constant supervision in case someone else needed help.
“The casualty’s condition was assessed and he was made as comfortable as possible. The ambulance arrived quickly and the man was taken to hospital suffering from a suspected heart attack.”
Sydney, who qualified as an RNLI beach lifeguard this year, said: “Lifeguard patrols begin at 10am so it was a bit of shock to be involved in my first ever incident just 13 minutes into my first day of work.
“But it was amazing how quickly all the training I’ve gone through over the past few weeks kicked in and it was certainly reassuring to be working alongside experienced lifeguards like Elliott and Naomi.
“People often think lifeguards only rescue people from the water but we do lot of first aid work on the beach. The biggest part of our job is preventing incidents before they happen.”
Last summer, RNLI lifeguards in Southsea dealt with 81 incidents, rescued seven people and gave first aid 61 times.