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RNLI lifeguards assist teenagers from raft at South Fistral

Lifeguards News Release

RNLI lifeguards at Fistral helped three teenagers yesterday (Wednesday 31 August) who’d gone into the water on a homemade raft but were unable to get back ashore.

Lifeguards on patrol at south Fistral spotted a group of people in the water about 500m out to sea yesterday afternoon, at around 5.10pm. They had entered the water from the rocks on a home-made raft and although they didn’t appear to be in any difficulty, lifeguards decided to go out to investigate.

The rescue water craft was launched from north Fistral by lifeguard George Tickner with lifeguard Mark Oliver from south Fistral joining as crew. On arriving at the scene the lifeguards found three teenagers, two males and one female, afloat on a homemade raft. The group were not in trouble but soon realised they didn’t have a plan to get back to shore safely. The lifeguards transported the three people ashore and dismantled the raft.  Conditions included an onshore wind with 3-4ft surf.

RNLI lifeguard supervisor Lewis Timson said: ‘The teenagers were not in any difficulty but on speaking to the lifeguards, they realised they didn’t know how to get out of the water, as the raft wouldn’t have made it through the surf and they couldn’t get back onto the rocks. The lifeguards brought them ashore and took apart the raft, recovering as much as possible. The remainder of the raft washed ashore with the swell shortly after.

‘The teenagers were very lucky that the lifeguards were able to help them before they found themselves in difficulty and the situation became much more serious. The sea is extremely unpredictable and conditions can change very quickly, so we strongly advise people to take extra care when going out on the water. We wouldn’t recommend people go out to sea on anything other than a sea-worthy vessel, carrying a means for calling for help and wearing a lifejacket. It’s also very important to be aware of the tide, weather and surf conditions when on the water, as these can have a significant impact on your safety.’

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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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