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Busy Bank Holiday weekend for RNLI lifeguards in Cornwall

Lifeboats News Release

RNLI lifeguards in Cornwall had a busy Bank Holiday weekend as thousands of people visited the county’s beaches.

At 1pm on Sunday (29 May) members of the public alerted lifeguards at Crooklets beach that a man had fallen from Mear Cliff and needed medical assistance. RNLI lifeguard Rory Sacree made his way to the scene with the first aid bag. On arrival, Rory found the casualty had a severe head wound, but was stable.

Fellow lifeguard Ian Burgess arrived to assist with bandaging the head wound and immobilising the head with a collar. They placed the casualty on a spinal board with the help of paramedics. RNLI lifeguard supervisor Ross Hambley and Bude Surf Club members helped to carry the casualty to a nearby ambulance before he was taken to hospital by air ambulance.

At Trebarwith Strand, RNLI lifeguards rescued a 15 year old girl who had fallen approximately 15ft into a narrow gully on Monday (30 May). The casualty had suffered a suspected broken ankle in the fall and was complaining of back pain. RNLI lifeguards John Dugard, Lewis Handley and Tiger Harbour assessed the teenager, before moving her onto a spinal board. With the help of off-duty lifeguard Andy Boxall and members of the public, the casualty was moved to a safe area to be winched by the Coastguard helicopter.

Chris Wafer, RNLI Lifeguard Supervisor, said: ‘It was quite a tricky extraction from such a confined space. All of the lifeguards worked really well together to assess the casualty and safely move her to a more stable spot where the Coastguard team were able to airlift her to Derriford Hospital for treatment.’

At Gyllyngvase beach in Falmouth RNLI lifeguards rescued five people who got into difficulty in the water on Bank Holiday Monday.

A father and daughter were rescued after their kayak capsized 200m from the shore. Senior RNLI lifeguard Hugo Newington-Smith paddled the pair back to the shore on a rescue board.

RNLI lifeguard Liam Brennan then spotted a swimmer 20m out who was struggling to get back to the beach in strong offshore winds. Liam paddled out on the rescue board and pulled the man from the water. He was suffering from hypothermia and was transferred into the care of paramedics at the beach.

Later in the afternoon, two paddleboarders who were both struggling to get back to shore in strong winds were rescued by lifeguards and brought safely back to the beach.

Senior RNLI lifeguard, Hugo Newington- Smith, said: ‘It was an extremely busy weekend with the good weather bringing many more people on to the beaches.

‘While we are enjoying the improved weather, it is important to remember that the sea can still be very cold, even in the summer months. If you are trying out watersports for the first time we recommend seeking advice from the lifeguards on the wind and sea conditions before entering the water.

‘If you find yourself in trouble in the water please raise your hand and call for help.  If you see someone else in trouble, tell a lifeguard, or if you can’t see a lifeguard, call 999 and ask for the Coastguard.’

To find out your nearest lifeguarded beach visit

Notes to editors
• Photos show the rescue at Trebarwith. Credit RNLI
• RNLI lifeguards Liam and Hugo at Gyllyngvase Beach. Credit RNLI

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