RNLI lifeguards keep England rugby team safe during aquatic training

Lifeguards from the RNLI were on hand to watch over England’s international rugby squad as they took part in a team-building exercise on the coast of Jersey.

The charity’s lifesavers – who ordinarily provide safety cover on the Island’s beaches during the summer months – offered their skills and experience in ensuring none of the players got into trouble in the water as well as helping to design the course.

This is the second year the team has called upon the lifeguards’ expertise for their Misogi-themed training activity on Jersey as part of their preparations for their four Autumn Nations Series fixtures at Twickenham Stadium in November (Eddie Jones’ side will take on Argentina in their opening game on 6 November).

Jake Elms, RNLI Lead Lifeguard Supervisor said; ‘It was a pleasure to welcome the team back to Jersey and to be able to provide them with the opportunity to train off the Island’s beaches safely. The lifeguard team are huge rugby fans and will be backing them all the way in the competition.’ 

The England rugby squad split into two teams and each had to take two extra large paddleboards around a 600-metre course off the Jersey coast. They then had to rescue a 60kg mannequin and also dive down to collect a 10kg weight. The session was designed to develop strategic thinking and problem-solving and also as a team-building exercise.

One of the squad, Jack Nowell, is a lifelong supporter of the RNLI, having grown up within sight of Penlee lifeboat station and with family and friends on the crew.

The RNLI’s key safety advice for anyone looking to do their own training by the coast is:

  • Be prepared. Check the weather and tides, choose your spot, go with a buddy, have the right equipment.
  • If in doubt, don’t go out. No matter how much preparation you do, or how experienced you are, if a swim doesn’t feel right there is no shame in getting out of the water straight away, or not entering.
  • Make sure you acclimatise to avoid cold water shock.
  • Be seen. Wear a bright coloured swim hat and take a tow float.
  • Stay within your depths.
  • Float to live – remain calm, lay back, spread your arms and legs and float.
  • Call 999 or 112 and ask for the coastguard in an emergency.

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