Two Serco lifeguards have been congratulated by Jersey Fire & Rescue and the Coastguard for their role in helping save a woman’s life during the annual St Helier Seaside Festival at Havre de Pas beach front and bathing pool last weekend (14 August).
Chris Rothery, aged 26, and Scott Ward, aged 33, sprang into action on their surf rescue boards after they became aware of a swimmer in difficulty and drifting out to sea.
The Jersey coastguard was first alerted to the incident off the Green Street slipway just before 5.30pm. Two onlookers had swam out to try and reach the woman but had to turn back for fear of getting into difficulty themselves. The coastguard mobilised the Fire and Rescue inshore rescue boat, but Chris and Scott - directed by the police to the exact location - reached the casualty first.
Chris helped the woman onto his rescue board and then paddled her back to the shore where they met the rescue crew. The 56-year old visitor was then checked over on the beach by members of Normandy Fire and Rescue.
Chris commented: “The woman was not in an area which we were responsible for lifeguarding and I couldn’t see her as she was further out to sea, behind rock. But when I heard someone was in trouble, instinct just kicked in and I grabbed my rescue board and headed out into sea. When I got there, only her face was showing above the water and she was just about conscious. Another 30 seconds and she would have been under the water. I managed to pull her onto my board and get her to safety. Thankfully she was fine - although suffering from exhaustion and the effects of alcohol.”
Faye Camp, Serco’s Contract Manager for Jersey, added: “We are incredibly proud of both Chris and Scott. Their prompt actions helped save this woman’s life and also meant the emergency services didn’t need to launch a full response.”