Article Text

Download PDFPDF
Can surf-lifeguards perform a quality cardiopulmonary resuscitation sailing on a lifeboat? A quasi-experimental study
  1. Roberto Barcala-Furelos1,2,
  2. Cristian Abelairas-Gomez2,3,
  3. Jose Palacios-Aguilar4,
  4. Ezequiel Rey1,
  5. Javier Costas-Veiga3,
  6. Sergio Lopez-Garcia5,
  7. Antonio Rodriguez-Nunez2,6
  1. 1 Faculty of Education and Sport Sciences, University of Vigo, Pontevedra, Spain
  2. 2 CLINURSID Research Group, Nursing Department, University of Santiago de Compostela, Santiago de Compostela, Spain
  3. 3 Faculty of Health Sciences, European Atlantic University, Santander, Spain
  4. 4 Faculty of Sport Sciences and Physical Education, University of A Coruña, A Corua, Spain
  5. 5 Faculty of Education, Pontifical University of Salamanca, Salamanca, Spain
  6. 6 Pediatric Area, Pediatric Emergency and Critical Care Division, University of Santiago de Compostela, Santiago de Compostela, Spain
  1. Correspondence to Dr Cristian Abelairas-Gomez, Faculty of Educational Sciences, University of Santiago de Compostela, Avda. de Xoan XXIII, s/n, Campus Norte, 15782, Santiago de Compostela, Spain ; cristianabelairasgomez{at}


Purpose Drowning is a high-priority public health problem around the world. The European Resuscitation Council Guidelines for Resuscitation 2015 put special emphasis on special environments like open waters. Stopping the drowning process as soon as possible and starting an early cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) improve survival. Inflatable rescue boats (IRBs) are used around the world in the water rescue of drowning victims. Our objective was to test the quality of CPR performed by surf-lifeguards while sailing on an IRB.

Methods A quasi-experimental simulation trial was conducted in Tenerife (Canary Islands—Spain) on September 2015. Ten surf-lifeguards were asked to perform a 2 min CPR on manikins in four different scenarios: (1) onshore, (2) on adrift boat, (3) on a boat sailing at 5 knots and (4) on a boat sailing at 10 knots. CPR was performed individually and was measured by means of CPRmeter (Laerdal, Norway) located on the standard manikin. Repeated measures analysis of variance was used in order to analyse the differences between scenarios.

Results The composite of all CPR variables was over 84% in all conditions, but it was lower when CPR was performed on board: onshore (96.49±3.58%) versus adrift (91.80±3.56, p=0.04), sailing at 5 knots (88.65±5.54, p=0.03) and sailing at 10 knots (84.74±5.56, p=0.001).

Conclusion Surf-lifeguards are able to deliver good-quality CPR even on a moving IRB, but their performance is lower than onshore. This fact should be considered in real cases to balance the risk and benefits of CPR on board.

  • Lifeguard
  • on board CPR
  • resuscitation
  • quality

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.


  • Contributors Study concept and design: RB-F, AR-N, CA-G. Acquisition of the data: RB-F, CA-G, JP-A, JC-V. Analysis of the data: ER, SL-G. Drafting of the manuscript: RB-F, CA-G, ER. Critical revision of the manuscript: JP-A, JC-V, SL-G, AR-N.

    Approval of final manuscript: RB-F, CA-G, JP-A, ER, JC-V, SL-G, AR-N.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Ethics approval Ethics Committee of the Faculty of Sports Sciences (University of Vigo), with code number 6-1812-14.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.