Busy weekend for RNLI lifeguards in West Cornwall
RNLI lifeguards in St Ives and Porthcurno carried out multiple rescues at the beaches over the weekend.
At Porthcurno on Sunday (7 August) 12 people, including seven children and five adults, were rescued from a flash rip current on the right hand side of the beach. The weather was sunny and there was a 3-4ft swell. The bathing area was open all day, but at 2.50pm a sudden rip current caught bathers off guard.
Jack Hoare, RNLI Senior Lifeguard, said: ‘I spotted the rip and saw that two people were initially stuck in it, so I ran down from the hut, jumped in on a rescue board and brought them back to safety. When I realised more people were getting stuck in the rip I called more lifeguards to help and we brought everyone back to shore.
‘Rip currents can drag people out to sea in seconds, which is why it is really important to swim at lifeguarded beaches, where lifeguards are on hand to help should you get into difficulty.’
On the same day at Porthmeor in St Ives, RNLI lifeguard Anthony Stewart rescued two young boys who were in the sea at knee depth, but were swiftly carried out to chest height. Anthony launched the Rescue Water Craft (RWC) and when he arrived on the scene he found the two boys clinging onto the board of a nearby surfer who had heard them shouting for help. Anthony brought both the casualties safely back to shore.
Later in the day lifeguards at Porthmeor were called into action again when a brother and sister were rescued from a rip current that swept them out to sea. The pair had nothing to help them float and were struggling to keep their heads above the water. An RNLI lifeguard who was patrolling the shore immediately picked them up on the RWC and brought them back to safety.
RNLI Senior Lifeguard, Jamie Symons, said: ‘We strongly advise swimming at a lifeguarded beach. We are constantly monitoring sea conditions and rip currents and will always put the red and yellow flags up to indicate the safest bathing areas. If you feel like surfing, we advise you stay between the black and white chequered flags. If you see a red flag that means water conditions are dangerous and we advise that you don’t enter the water.’
The RNLI’s Respect the Water campaign is running throughout the summer. To find out more about the dangers of the coast and how to stay safe, visit www.rnli.org/respectthewater or search #RespectTheWater on social media.
Note to editors
• RNLI lifeguards picked up a young bodyboarder who was in difficulty at Trevone Beach in Padstow. Footage can be downloaded here: http://rnli.org/Pages/Video-Details.aspx?VideoItemID=sU94IQq6
• Picture attached is a stock image of Porthcurno, and not an image from the day
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Key facts about the RNLI
The RNLI charity saves lives at sea. Its volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service around the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland coasts. The RNLI operates over 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and more than 240 lifeguard units on beaches around the UK and Channel Islands. The RNLI is independent of Coastguard and government and depends on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824, its lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved over 142,700 lives.