Man thanks Eastbourne lifeguards who saved his life

A 62-year-old man whose life was saved by Eastbourne lifeguards using a defibrillator has met and thanked those who helped him.

Gilberto Rodrigues dos Santos went into cardiac arrest on the beach on September 5.

Four lifeguards attended the scene and while the defibrillator was used, a fifth lifeguard spoke to emergency services from the Lifeguard Station.

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Thanks to the efforts of the lifeguards, Mr Rodrigues dos Santos made a good recovery and is doing well.

Gilberto Rodrigues dos Santos at the Lifeguard Station SUS-210929-143105001

The defibrillator is located on the side of the Lifeguards’ Station near the Wish Tower slopes. There is also one at the seafront office by the Bandstand and are both funded by Eastbourne Borough Council.

The council runs the seasonal lifeguards service from May 1 – September 30. The team of trained staff is primarily made up of firefighters, teachers and university students.

This year the lifeguards have assisted or rescued 25 people in 18 different incidents including cases of tired swimmers or swimmers being forced into groynes by rough waves, as well as trips and falls.

The lifeguards have also provided minor first aid to more than 100 people this year and given safety advice to thousands more – mainly around the safest areas to swim, sun safety and discouraging swimming during rough seas.

Eastbourne Borough Council’s lead member for tourism and culture Councillor Margaret Bannister said, “I am delighted to hear Mr Rodrigues dos Santos has made a full recovery.

“This is down to the actions by our fantastic team of extremely capable and professional lifeguards who performed the lifesaving procedures they had been trained to do without any hesitation.

“This is further testimony that visitors to Eastbourne seafront can rest assured that they are being taken care of.”

Three days a week throughout August the Eastbourne lifeguards run beginner lifeguard lessons for those aged between eight and 14. The lessons teach the youngsters about water and sun safety, first aid and CPR as well as rescue skills, radio communication and flag signalling.

A spokesperson for the lifeguards encouraged everyone of all ages to learn first aid skills so that they can help in an emergency.

The spokesperson said, “Anyone could need first aid assistance at any time and learning a few vital skills could save a life.”

A spokesperson for Eastbourne Borough Council said visitors to Eastbourne beach should always swim in view of the lifeguards located near the Wish Tower and ask them for some tips and information on local hazards before getting in.

If you see anyone in trouble in the water, you can call 999 and ask for the Coastguard.

Other defibrillators are located:

• Holywell, on the lower promenade by Eastbourne Pier – provided by Eastbourne Lions Club

• Helen Gardens – funded by Meads Community Association and Eastbourne Borough Council’s Meads Ward Devolved Budget

• Eastbourne Voluntary Lifeguards Clubhouse on Fisherman’s Green