A MAN who was treated by RNLI lifeguards when he suffered a cardiac arrest on Bridlington north beach earlier this year has been reunited with the heroes who saved his life.
Graham Warriner, from York, was visiting Bridlington with his wife Alyson on Sunday, July 22, when he collapsed after suffering a cardiac arrest.
This week Graham was reunited with those lifeguards – Andrew McNulty, Ben Holland and Aaron Miles – for the first time at a special ‘thank you’ party held at his home.
Graham, a retired Site Support Officer and PAT tester, said: “I cannot find enough words to thank the RNLI lifeguards for what they did for me that day.
“If it wasn’t for them, I wouldn’t be here now. It means so much to my family that I have been able to continue with my life and that I was still around to enjoy my recent 60th birthday celebration.”
The incident occurred just before noon on the Promenade at Bridlington North beach. When RNLI lifeguards rushed to the scene, they found Graham desperately struggling for breath.
Lifeguard Andrew McNulty was first to arrive, and after initial assessment, began helping Graham to breathe.
Senior lifeguard Ben Holland then started chest compressions and a defibrillator was used in an attempt to restart the heart. RNLI lifeguard Aaron Miles also assisted at the scene.
The lifeguards continued with CPR until the ambulance arrived and Graham was taken away for further treatment.
He spent eight days in hospital, three of which were in intensive care but has since made a full recovery – although he continues to take medication and also attends regular heart check-ups.
He remembers nothing about the incident and can only recall waking up in hospital a couple of days later. Nevertheless, he still wanted to meet the lifeguards to say a big ‘thank you’.
As the RNLI lifeguarding season has now finished for this year in East Yorkshire, the lifeguards were able to attend a special ‘thank you’ party at the couple’s house in York last Tuesday.
Graham, and his wife Alyson, expressed their gratitude by making a donation to the RNLI and also raised a glass to toast the lifeguards.
Alyson said: “Everything happened in slow motion that day, thank goodness the lifeguards were there and instantly knew what to do. There is no doubt in my mind that they saved my husband’s life.
“I would also like to thank the ambulance crew for their amazing job and a couple who were passing by who stopped to help at the scene.”
RNLI Lifeguard Supervisor David Brant said: “All RNLI lifeguards receive comprehensive first aid training as part of the role and it is this essential training that can really make a huge difference in situations like Graham’s.
“It’s fabulous to see that Graham has fully recovered and it has made the lifeguards’ year to be able to meet Graham again and receive such a lovely ‘thank you’. The meeting was very important to them and meant a great deal.”
The lifeguards involved in the rescue hope to return for next year’s RNLI lifeguarding season, but in the meantime Andrew will be heading off to Luton University to study Business and Marketing, Ben is hoping to find work within the sports and fitness sector and Aaron is planning to travel across Wales and Australia.