Sidmouth youngsters take step closer to becoming lifeguards

Sidmouth Surf Lifesaving Club's first year graduates

Sidmouth Surf Lifesaving Club's first year graduates - Credit: Archant

Forty youngsters took a step closer to becoming fully qualified lifeguards after they put their minds and bodies to the test at the weekend.

Sidmouth Surf Lifesaving Club's year two graduates

Sidmouth Surf Lifesaving Club's year two graduates - Credit: Archant

Sidmouth Surf Lifesaving Club’s 2017 season culminated with 18 13- and 14-year-olds passing their first level of qualifications, assuring they have the skills needed to rescue people in open water.

The 15-year-olds also passed their exam, with 14 of them demonstrating resuscitation and first aid skills. It proves the candidates are able to save a life in any situation, be that on the beach, in the community or at home.

The ultimate aim of the club is to encourage their graduates, once they reach the age of 16, to take the Surf Lifeguard Award - the qualification required by the RNLI to work as a lifeguard on beaches around the country.

On Sunday, 10 club candidates undertook this grueling seven-hour exam, which involved fitness tests, practical lifesaving assessments and comprehensive first and resuscitation exams.

Sidmouth Surf Lifesaving Club's lifeguard candidates and trainers

Sidmouth Surf Lifesaving Club's lifeguard candidates and trainers - Credit: Archant

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Dave Manley, the club’s head coach and chairman, said: “I am extremely proud of all our newly qualified members. These young people have worked so hard all summer to achieve these awards.

“Our objective is to provide young people with the skills not only to look after themselves in open water, but also to be able save lives in any situation and to be lifesaving ambassadors in the community.

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“Our newly qualified surf lifeguards now have the opportunity to gain employment with the RNLI on the East Devon coast or on any beach in the country.”

Dave and fellow club trainers Ian Perry and Mike Shillingford were also recognized for their work as they received their full trainer assessor awards.

Lauren Turner, the national education and training manager for Surf Lifesaving GB, said: “It was fantastic to see so many young people confident in rescue techniques and basic life support principles. The standard being demonstrated was really high from both the trainers and the candidates.

“I am certain that these young graduates will go on and make competent lifeguards in the future.

Sidmouth SLSC have embraced the surf life saving ethos and are providing a vital club and service within their community.”

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