View as PDF

RNLI lifeguards save family of three on Bank Holiday weekend

Lifeguards News Release

Off-duty RNLI lifeguards rescued a family of three from strong rip currents and big surf at Tregonhawke beach on Sunday evening (28 August).

Senior RNLI lifeguard Dan Holley and volunteer RNLI lifeguard Tegan Louis-Puttick were holding surf lessons at the beach when they spotted a young bodyboarder in difficulty in two metre high surf.

Dan immediately went to the boy’s assistance and instructed Tegan to bring a soft surfboard with her to act as a rescue board, which is the equipment RNLI lifeguards use during patrol hours. Dan rescued the boy from the strong rip but whilst doing so, his father and sister tried to rescue him as well and ended up getting into trouble themselves.

Tegan arrived with the surfboard to help the remaining two casualties from the rough conditions with the help of a member of the public with a surfboard.

The Coastguard was initially called but later stood down.

Once the three casualties were safely back to shore, the lifeguards monitored them for signs of shock and they were given fresh water and blankets. They were also provided with safety advice on secondary drowning before they left the beach.

RNLI Lifeguard Supervisor, Ant Thorpe, said: ‘The lifeguards involved responded really quickly and professionally to an out-of-hours incident. We patrol Tregonhawke from 10am-6pm and always have flagged areas for the safest swimming and surfing zones.

‘Conditions can change at the coast very quickly and the sea can be dangerously unpredictable. We urge people to swim at a lifeguarded beach during patrol hours so that we can help to keep you safe. If you spot someone in difficulty in the water call 999 and ask for the Coastguard.’

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 or search #RespectTheWater on social media.

Notes to editors

Picture attached of the three family members and RNLI lifeguard Dan Holley

RNLI media contacts
For further information, please contact either Aysha Bryant, RNLI Communications Student Placement, on 01752 854479 or  or Emma Haines, RNLI Public Relations Manager, on 07786668847 or email or Chloe Smith, RNLI Press Officer on 07920818807 or email

Key facts about the RNLI

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution is the charity that saves lives at sea. Our volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service in the United Kingdom and Ireland from 238 lifeboat stations, including four along the River Thames and inland lifeboat stations at Loch Ness, Lough Derg, Enniskillen, Carrybridge and Lough Ree. Additionally the RNLI has more than 1,000 lifeguards on over 240 beaches around the UK and operates a specialist flood rescue team, which can respond anywhere across the UK and Ireland when inland flooding puts lives at risk.

The RNLI relies on public donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. As a charity it is separate from, but works alongside, government-controlled and funded coastguard services. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824 our lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved at least 140,000 lives. Volunteers make up 95% of the charity, including 4,600 volunteer lifeboat crew members and 3,000 volunteer shore crew. Additionally, tens of thousands of other dedicated volunteers raise funds and awareness, give safety advice, and help in our museums, shops and offices.

Learn more about the RNLI

For more information please visit the RNLI website or Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. News releases, videos and photos are available on the News Centre.

Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries

Members of the public may contact the RNLI on 0300 300 9990 or by email.


The RNLI is a charity registered in England and Wales (209603) and Scotland (SC037736). Charity number 20003326 in the Republic of Ireland