A 25 year old surfer from Neath will be very grateful following a rescue in the surf rescue IRB. A series of coincidences meant that Ian James, a qualified IRB driver was at the lifeguard station in the right place at the right time on Monday evening.
The IRB had been at an IRB racing competition on Sunday in Barry where members of the Rest Bay team came 4th overall. The race finished late so Ian decided to store the IRB at his home overnight and return the IRB to the lifeguard station the following day. Whilst he was at the lifeguard station returning the IRB at around 18.00 on Monday evening a member of the public saw Ian outside the lifeguard station and came to tell him that there was a surfer in difficulties in the rip current at the point and in danger of being swept onto rocks.
At the time the tide was incoming with high water around 20.03. Conditions were big, blown out and messy with a strong rip and lateral current due to the large spring tides. Due to the fact the surfer required immediate assistance Ian took the decision to launch the IRB. He had to quickly remove the straps used to transport the IRB on road and with the assistance of 2 local girls (Danielle Jones and Kat Sinclair who were in the vicinity) launched the IRB. The IRB was crewed by the friend of the surfer in difficulties.
Ian negotiated the conditions and reached the stricken surfer with the surfers friend helping him onboard the IRB. They then returned to the safety of the beach with no further medical assistance required.
This rescue comes following a number of rescues this summer out of normal lifeguarding hours. The current is particularly strong at present due to large spring tides. If visiting Rest Bay we recommend you stay on the golf club side of the station for your own safety. Rest Bay no longer has full time lifeguard cover so please be aware of the dangers at the beach. For further beach safety information relevant to Rest Bay please read this guide.
We would like to express our thanks to those members of the public who assisted Ian allowing him to perform this rescue.
IRB Crew: Ian James (driver), Luke Griffiths (crew - (friend of the surfer in diffulties))