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30 Sept 2022

Off-duty County Derry RNLI lifeguard comes to the aid of young swimmer

Off-duty County Derry RNLI lifeguard comes to the aid of young swimmer

Senior RNLI Lifeguard Cara Telfer came to the aid of a young swimmer at Downhill last week

An off-duty County Derry RNLI lifeguard used her skills and training, to come to the aid of a young swimmer at Downhill Beach this week.

Following her daily patrol on Downhill Beach on Saturday, August 6, Senior Lifeguard Cara Telfer was enjoying a swim with her family after 7pm when she observed a boy deep in the water about 150m from the shore.

‘When I got out of the sea after our swim,’ Cara explained, ‘I said to my dad that I wasn’t happy with the boy being that far out on his own in case he would get into trouble.

“I could see his mother on the beach waving at him and trying to call him in, so I approached her, explained that I was a lifeguard and asked if her son was a good swimmer.

“When she said he wasn’t and that she was worried, I told her I would go and get him,” said Cara.

“I swam in and by this stage the boy was further out and behind the breaking waves, but his head was still above the water. I asked him to hold on to my arm and we swam in until he could stand and then we walked to shore,” she added.

Speaking following the incident, Regional Lifeguard Lead Michael Thompson commended the lifeguard for using her intuition, skills and training to help others despite being off-duty:

“I want to commend and thank Cara who without doubt made a huge difference in this incident.

The selfless and courageous efforts despite being off-duty is testament to the dedication of our lifeguard team and it is very reassuring and pleasing to know that their knowledge, skills and training will immediately kick in regardless of time or place when they see someone in difficulty.”

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