The pace of training is starting to pick up for our first year lifeguards. Having recently successfully completed their pool lifesaver award as a sound basis for all of their future training, they are now moving on to more advance qualifications. One group has recently done their RNLI Casualty Care for Lifeguards course, and the other group will complete theirs after project week. We are also now starting to focus on preparation for the beach lifeguard qualification which they will take in May. This is an unusual year group as they are likely to be the first lifeguards in the UK to be assessed for the National Beach Lifeguard Qualification - a unified award that is recognised and promoted by all lifesaving bodies in the UK. The students have also recently been given their red lifeguard hoodies which they are now all proudly sporting around campus.
AC@AC (Aquatic Confidence at Atlantic College)
It has been a period of change over the last couple of weeks for our children's swimming programme (AC@AC). The second year students have completed their stint teaching young children from the local community to swim and gain confidence in the water. Some of these students and their young charges have been working together for the last twelve months and have built up a strong bond of trust and friendship that is heartening to see every week. It can be hard for students to climb out of bed for 9.30am on a Saturday morning, or make their way down to the pool during the week at 5pm after a busy day of codes and activities, but once in the pool with the children, they seem to come alive and relish the interaction. It is now down to new cohort if first year AC@AC-ers to take up this challenge and begin to build those relationships themselves.
Inshore Rescue Boats
The first years in the Inshore Rescue Boat section have been in the water much more than on top of it during the last few weeks - we should add here that this has been intentional!! We have taken the opportunity of using some of the second year lifeguards to run some training in rescue techniques in the water with a rescue tube. Our surf rescue boats all carry tubes and it is the responsibility of the crewman on the boat to go into the water with the tube and secure the casualty. They have also been taught resuscitation and patient care, along with casualty drags and pick-ups on the beach. On the boat building side, work continues apace on the tsunami rescue boat. The hull is almost complete, with the final act being the laying of the deck. The next step is to turn the hull over so that it can be filled and smoothed to allow a new mould to be taken for the construction of new generations of this boat.
Alun Wood, Outdoor Faculty