Life-saving skills sharpened

Hartlepool RNLI crewmebers pictured with Hartlepool Borough Council Lifeguards following their joint exercise recently.

Hartlepool RNLI crewmebers pictured with Hartlepool Borough Council Lifeguards following their joint exercise recently.

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LIFESAVERS joined together for a joint training exercise to boost operations to keep Hartlepool beachgoers safe.

Hartlepool Borough Council’s beach lifeguards and crew members from the town’s RNLI Lifeboat Station took part in a joint training day to improve their life-saving skills.

They took part in a range of routines and lifesaving techniques and both organisations said it was a huge success.

Debbie Kershaw, quality and safety officer for lifeguard service run by the council, said: “We contacted the RNLI as we wanted to get some extra training for our staff.

“They took us on their Trent class offshore lifeboat, and took us through some routines, including man overboard, getting our crew into the sea and using the lift hoists to get them out, and showing us around the boat.

“It was great to give us a chance to see how to work together.”

Ms Kershaw added: “Our lifeguards thoroughly enjoyed the day.

“We had to swim out to meet the boat just off Fish Sands, and a lot of the exercises took place in Victoria Harbour.”

“This is the first partnership in a long time and we’d love to do it again. It was very beneficial.”

The council runs the lifeguard service on three beaches – with two lifeguards on Fish Sands, two at Block Sands, and four at Seaton Carew.

They operate from 10am to 6pm throughout the summer holidays.

Mike Craddy, lifeboats operation manager at Hartlepool Lifeboat Station, said: “It was a really good exercise – it’s always good to get together with other agencies and see how we can work together.

“The exercises included recovery of casualties from the beach, first aid, and other lifesaving skills.

“We try to do exercises like this at least once a year and when the lifeguards contacted us it was a great opportunity.”