Gwithian Academy of Surfing HQ is located at Godrevy Towans, just a few minutes’ walk from Gwithian Beach. It is ideally placed for any equipment needed in case of an emergency. Head Coach, Ian Gabbitas and Surfing Instructor Billy James at GAS have been selected for speciality lifesaving training by the RNLI.
RNLI Beach Lifeguard Supervisor Ollie Shilston is part of the RNLI team that looks after 70 lifeguards and 15 beaches on both the north and south coasts of West Cornwall. From Godrevy to Lands’ End and along the south coast to Perranuthnoe. He says: “We are doing a lot more work with the community to keep beaches safe when the lifeguards are not on duty or during gaps in the season. There have been a number of incidents in the past and we want to be able to prevent them happening again. “
GAS are well placed
He continues: “We highlight key members of the community who know the area, coasts and beaches very well and train them up to a first responder level of lifesaving. They learn key skills to cover all level of incidents from weaver fish stings, fits, major bleeds, heart and cardiac conditions, to spinal incidents and of course drownings. “
The Casualty Care for Lifeguards course is a 3-day course which covers all the major life threatening first aid incidents. They learn how to use key drugs like Entonox, deliver oxygen, and use defibrillators. It’s a high level of first aid training up to a first responder level. Another benefit of involving key members of the community is to help spread the RNLI messages of safety at the beach.
Head coach Ian Gabbitas says: “Gwithian Academy of Surfing HQ will be the volunteer station where the RNLI leave their crash bag with all the necessary equipment to deal with any incidents that happen at Godrevy out of hours or during gaps. We are here from March to November from 10-6pm every day so it’s great that we are trained up to that level to help the RNLI in case anything happens when the lifeguards have gone. As surf instructors we are already lifeguard trained but this is the next level up of training”.
Do you have what it takes?
The RNLI are looking to expand their community volunteer cover and work closely with other key community volunteers. If you would like to put yourself forward then go to the RNLI website: https://summerjobs.rnli.org/lifeguards/training.