While employed to keep beach-goers safe in South Shields RNLI lifeguard Alex Gwynn put his rescue skills to the test on a bird of a different feather after discovering an injured puffin while on duty.
Alex was monitoring Sandhaven Beach on June 25 when he came across the stricken seabird at about 5.30pm.
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The rough weather had created dangerous gale-force winds, which is suspected to have caused the puffin’s injury.
When Alex arrived, he found the small animal being attacked by numerous crawlies and insects.
And, despite the bird continuously pecking at the lifeguard, Alex secured it in his RNLI jumper and carried it back to base.
The South Shields RNLI team stayed on after hours whilst waiting for the RSPB to arrive.
The injured puffin was transported to a nearby RSPB rescue centre.
Lifeguard Supervisor Nick Campbell congratulated the lifeguard’s efforts to help the injured puffin:
‘Although the RNLI is best known for its efforts in rescuing people, animal rescues are sometimes part of our charity’s lifesaving work as well.
Aiding or rescuing animals ensures that members of the public don't put themselves in danger by attempting to help.'
Short for Royal National Lifeboat Institution, the RNLI has the contract for keeping visitors to the South Tyneside coast safe in the summer months.
For more information on how the RNLI saves lives at sea, visit: https://rnli.org/what-we-do