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RNLI lifeguards at Whitsand Bay assist ten people cut off by tide

Lifeguards News Release

RNLI lifeguards on patrol at Whitsand Bay, south east Cornwall, have helped ten people cut off by the tide in the last two days.

With evening spring high tides this week, the RNLI is reminding people to be aware of the tide conditions when out enjoying the coast.

The latest incident happened last night (Wednesday 20 July) at around 6.20pm when RNLI lifeguards Jake Marshall and Mike Annells were on the water in the inshore rescue boat (IRB) and spotted two teenagers climbing over rocks near the Happy Valley area of the bay, heading towards Tregonhawke.

The teenagers, one female and one male, were making progress but would have been unable to get around the last rocky outcrop to the beach. Lifeguards beached their IRB and retrieved the casualties into the boat and took them safely round to Tregonhawke where they could exit the beach up the cliff.

A similar incident happened the day before, on Tuesday (19 July) when eight teenagers were rescued near Freathy. They had also become cut off by the incoming tide and were trying to climb back around from an area known locally as Frying Pan to Freathy. RNLI lifeguards Jake and Mike used the inshore rescue boat to transport all eight casualties back to safety.

RNLI lifeguards at Tregonhawke and Tregantle will be working until 7pm when the high tides coincide with the evening, to ensure people enjoying the beach later in the day are kept safe.

RNLI lifeguard Jake Marshall reminds people to check the tide conditions: ‘We’re experiencing spring tides this week which create faster and stronger currents, and as a result the tide can come in quicker than people may expect.

‘There is a huge expanse of beach at Whitsand Bay when the tide is out, but when the tide turns, many areas become cut off with no access back up the cliff. The RNLI lifeguards carry out preventative patrols in our inshore rescue boat when the tide is coming in to ensure people are clear from the several cut-off areas across the bay.

‘We urge people to check the tide times and conditions before heading down to Whitsand Bay and ensure they have a clear exit route from the beach at all times.  The lifeguards are on hand to help should you have any questions, so please don’t hesitate to come and speak to one of the team.’

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For further information, please contact either Emma Haines, RNLI Public Relations Manager, on 07786 668847 or email or Chloe Smith, RNLI Press Officer, on 07920 818807 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.

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