VIDEO: Surfer airlifted to hospital from Newquay with suspected neck injury
UPDATED: Monday 12.30pm - A SURFER was airlifted to Derriford Hospital with a suspected neck injury after a steep wave dumped him headfirst into a sandbar in Newquay on Sunday.
The resort’s Coastguard team called in the Sea King search and rescue helicopter to transport the 18-year-old holidaymaker from Tolcarne beach at around 2pm.
Paramedics were concerned about possible damage to his spine after he complained about a tingling sensation in his neck, and opted against carrying him up the beach steps.
John Steadman, RNLI lifeguard supervisor, said: “He was surfing between the black and white flagged area, when he caught a wave which took him over the top and sent him crashing down head first into a sand bar.
“He managed to get himself back to the beach but complained of tingling and numbness in his neck and had a graze on his head. His friend alerted RNLI lifeguard Adam Robinson, who after initial assessment of his injuries immediately requested an ambulance.”
The paramedics were quickly on the scene and worked with RNLI lifeguards to put the teenager on a spinal board, before a decision was made to call for an airlift.
Dave Bulley, of Newquay’s cliff rescue team, said: “We were called to assist the ambulance service, who were dealing with an injured surfer. He had been well looked after by the RNLI lifeguards but the paramedics were concerned about his injury and asked us to send for the Sea King.
“It seems that he came off his board and may have sustained a significant injury, so they wanted him transferred urgently to Derriford in Plymouth.”
Mr Steadman added: “It was a pretty miserable day yesterday so the beaches were fairly quiet, however there was still a fair number in the water taking advantage of the bit of swell in the bay. The wave at Tolcarne beach at high tide has a very steep wedge and is difficult to learn on, the young surfer was unfortunate to be dumped onto the sandbar and sustain his injuries.
“The RNLI lifeguards are trained to recognise and treat suspected spinal injuries and they worked really well with the paramedics to ensure the surfer was kept as stable as possible before working with the other emergency services to ensure he was safely airlifted to hospital for further treatment.”