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RNLI Lifeguards save two teenagers in North Devon

Lifeguards News Release

RNLI lifeguards Peter Bull and James Whyte went to the aid of two teenage boys yesterday (Thursday 7 July) at Woolacombe beach.

Two sixteen-year-olds went into the water with their bodyboards and quickly found themselves in trouble in a rip current on the northern side of the beach.
When the boys realised they were in a rip current, they let go of their bodyboards and tried to swim against the current. Watching from the RNLI patrol truck, RNLI lifeguards Peter and James entered the water with a rescue board as a matter of urgency, as the boys had nothing to help them float.
Peter and James reached the casualties and brought them both back to shore.
RNLI Lifeguard Supervisor Matt Whitley, said: ‘The lifeguards involved followed their instincts and acted quickly. If you do find yourself caught in a rip, stay calm and keep your boards with you, this will help you to float. Wave your arm and shout for help. Never try to swim against the current as this will tire you out quickly. Instead, swim parallel to the beach until free of the rip.’
After the boys were returned safely to the beach, their mother came down to express her thanks.
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
·         The video footage can be downloaded here
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

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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.

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