A lifeguard was taken to hospital after diving into the North Sea to save a teenage boy.
The 14-year-old was being dragged out to sea by a strong rip current after he jumped off pipes into the water at Blyth Beach, in Northumberland, on Saturday.
Volunteer lifeguard Ryan Hennessey, 23, spotted the teen and dived in to save him from the choppy waters.
The boy was eventually pulled to shore by Ryan and his collegue Kieran Falcus. He was checked over by paramedics but didn’t need further treatment.
But Blyth RNLI was then launched because of concerns for Ryan, who is from Blyth Lifeguard and Swimming Club.
Aileen Robson from Blyth Lifeguard and Swimming Club, who patrol Blyth beach voluntarily at the weekends during the summer, said: “The lifeguard went to hospital to get checked over as he was hypothermic.”
A rescue helicopter from RAF Boulmer and the shore-based Blyth Coastguard rescue team were also sent to the incident. The lifeboat arrived just offshore of the Dave Stephen’s Centre to discover that Ryan was back on shore. Both the lifeboat and rescue helicopter were stood down and returned to station.
Blyth RNLI Lifeboat operations manager, John Scott, said: “This is the first time we have been called to rescue a lifeguard and although our crew only played a small part I am glad everything turned out alright.”
Ms Robson added: “The group of lads were warned but I think they just thought we were trying to spoil their fun.
“We only patrol the beach at the weekend, so it doesn’t bear thinking about if this had happened during the week.”
Also over the weekend, Tynemouth RNLI went to the aid of five teenage boys after they had become stranded on rocks which were cut-off by the high tide.
Tynemouth RNLI’s Inshore Lifeboat was launched and rescued the boys, all of whom were unhurt. The were rescued from a set of rocks known as Camel Island, just off Marsden Bay, at around 5.15pm on Saturday.
Adrian Don, spokesman for the lifeboat, said: “Our inshore lifeboat with three volunteer crew members rushed to the scene and found the teenagers standing on the rocks. They were unharmed but could have been stuck there for another six hours.
“The crew got them onto the lifeboat and took them to safety at the nearby beach, where a coastguard team and police were waiting to make sure they were all well and to give them safety advice.
“Anyone going near the sea should check the state of the tide”.