Adrenaline kicked in for a 19-year-old lifeguard who rushed to save a four-year-old girl’s life after hearing her mother frantically shouting.

RNLI lifeguard Jamie Hannaford was on foot patrol along East Beach, West Bay, and was at the water’s edge advising swimmers near an area of the beach that is red flagged – meaning people should not enter the water there.

On his way back, approximately 30 metres from the red flag, he heard a mother shouting to her son to save his sister who was struggling to stay above water.

Jamie wasted no time in rushing in the water fully clothed to and save the girl’s life, without time to take off equipment, such as the first aid kit.

He said: “I looked round and saw the girl with her head under the water with her arms in the air. She couldn’t get herself above the water.

“I just ran in; I had no time to take off any equipment. It was only chest deep for me but quite deep for the girl.

“There was a sudden change when the adrenaline kicked in. It felt surreal and it didn’t sink in for quite a while that she could have died. Afterwards it did make me feel really good.

“I got her out, checked her over and took her back to her family and gave them advice on the risks and dangers of West Bay. I don’t think they were local as they didn’t seem to know much about West Bay.

This was Jamie’s first big rescue, he said they normally have medical incidents on the beach they respond to, and was in the right place at the right time as he only lifeguards in West Bay once a week, spending three days at Lyme Regis and one day at Weymouth.

He is urging beachgoers to stay safe on the coast, lookout for warnings on the beaches and if they have any questions, to ask the lifeguards.

“Lifeguarded beaches have dangers signposted,” he said. “Only swim between the red and yellow flags and only swim on a lifeguarded beach.”