RNLI lifeguards assist teenagers from raft at South Fistral
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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The RNLI charity saves lives at sea. Its volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service around the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland coasts. The RNLI operates over 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and more than 240 lifeguard units on beaches around the UK and Channel Islands. The RNLI is independent of Coastguard and government and depends on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824, its lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved over 142,700 lives.