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RNLI lifeguards at Whitsand Bay save two swimmers from strong rip current

Lifeguards News Release

RNLI lifeguards on patrol at Sharrow Point and Tregonhawke at Whitsand Bay helped save two swimmers who got into difficulty in a strong rip current this afternoon (Thursday 26 May).

Lifeguards are currently carrying out lookout patrols at Sharrow Point, where they can get a view of the entire bay, as access to the beach has been restricted due to cliff instability. Earlier this afternoon while looking out across the beaches, lifeguards spotted two people in a rip current at Freathy.

Lifeguard Leroy Davies at Tregonhawke was tasked to respond on the all-terrain vehicle and made his away across the sand at low tide to Freathy beach.

On his arrival he saw a man and woman in trouble in a rip current so immediately swam out with a rescue tube to secure the casualties. Meanwhile the inshore rescue boat was launched from Tregonhawke by Jake Marshall and Harry Moir, who picked up the casualties and Leroy from the water and returned them all to shore.

The casualties were checked over but required no further medical treatment. Conditions included two foot clean surf and choppy water conditions due to the wind.

Antony Thorpe, RNLI lifeguard supervisor, says the rip current at Freathy continues to be a hazard and urges anybody visiting the beach to choose a lifeguarded beach:

‘The casualties were very lucky that our lifeguards spotted them in the water and as a result we were able to respond extremely quickly. The rip current at Freathy is very strong and continues to be a hazard, as it was last year. Our RNLI lifeguards will be on patrol at Freathy from July 9, but in the meantime we strongly urge anybody visiting the beach to choose one with RNLI lifeguard cover, where the lifeguards are able to help keep you safe. To find your nearest beach visit

‘If you do find yourself caught in a rip current, don’t panic or try to swim against it. Wave your arm in the air and call for help. If you see somebody else in trouble, don’t try and help them yourself, alert the lifeguards on duty or call 999 and ask for the Coastguard.’

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