Surfer thanks lifeguards for rescuing her

A SURFER who got into difficulties after suffering a seizure has returned to the scene to thank her rescuers.

The 23-year-old had been surfing near the former outdoor swimming pool at the south end of Tynemouth Long Sands at 12.30pm on Sunday when she got into difficulty just outside the RNLI black-and-white flag patrol zone.

The woman had suffered a seizure and began drifting out to sea on her surfboard into a rip current.

She managed to alert RNLI lifeguards who were on patrol by waving her arms.

Lifeguards Sam Nicholson and Sandy Kerr dashed into the sea and swam to her aid, with Sam climbing onto the back of the surfboard to paddle it away from a rip current while Sandy stayed at the front to steer it to safety with his rescue tube.

A spokesperson for the RNLI said: “The lifeguards took her to the lifeguard base for treatment.

“Whilst at the base, the lady suffered another seizure.

“The lifeguards monitored her breathing and administered oxygen until she was taken to hospital for observation.”

The 23-year-old has made a full recovery and returned to the beach the following day with a box of chocolates and a thank you note.

In the note she wrote: “If the RNLI lifeguards hadn’t been there to help, the situation would have been a lot more serious.

“Everyone involved in my rescue was super nice and they really looked after me.”

Senior RNLI lifeguard Phil Ritchie said: “All of our lifeguards receive comprehensive first aid training as part of their role.”

“I am very pleased that they were able to utilise these essential skills to help the lady and it made their day to receive such a lovely thank you.”