SCARBOROUGH lifeguards saved a woman who was in the early stages of hypothermia in the South Bay – the fourth person to be rescued in a matter of days.
RNLI lifeguard Tim Machon was in the bay conducting a water patrol on Tuesday when he became aware of the woman in difficulty.
Mr Machon said that upon suspecting the early stages of hypothermia, he brought her back to shore on the charity’s rescue board where he was met by colleague Phil Dorman who had a towel to get some warmth back into the woman.
Mr Machon said: “Phil and I took her further up the beach out of the wind where another of our colleagues, Gareth Oxley, met us with the first aid equipment.
“RNLI lifeguards are highly trained in first aid and after assessing the woman, I was confident that she was demonstrating hypothermic symptoms. We called for paramedics who took her to hospital for further treatment.”
The incident came just three days after three surfers were rescued from the South Bay on Saturday.
The men, who were all experienced surfers, got into difficulty after being caught out by the strong tidal waters.
Lifeguards issued a warning to surfers about the dangers of rip tides after the rescue, and people swimming in the North Sea are being reminded not to underestimate the water temperature following the latest incident.
Mr Machon has urged swimmers to respect the open water environment if they’re not to fall victim to the cold themselves.
He said: “Many swimmers don’t realise that it only takes half an hour of submersion in the sea without a wetsuit for the cold to penetrate and hypothermia to set in.
“The lady we rescued wasn’t from the local area and told us it was her first time swimming here. She was starting to train to swim the English Channel without a wetsuit but I don’t know whether she had used anything to insulate her skin before entering the water.
“There are a few basic rules to apply if you’re planning an open water swim here at the beach. The first would be to stay closer to the shore where the water tends to be slightly warmer and to wear a brightly coloured swimming cap so we can easily spot you among the waves.
“Please also come and introduce yourself to the lifeguards on duty before you go in so we can advise you of the water temperature and local conditions. That way your swim will be just as safe as it is invigorating.”