RNLI lifeguards rescue two girls from rip current
RNLI Lifeguards have issued a safety warning after rescuing two young girls who got caught in a rip current off Whitsand Bay.
Lifeguards were carrying out routine patrols in the inshore rescue boat (IRB) along Whitsand Bay (which encompasses Tregantle, Sharrow, Freathy and Treganhawke beaches) at around 2pm on Sunday 9 June when they came to the aid of the children in difficulty off Sharrow beach.
The girls, aged 11 and 12, had been swimming in the sea when they found themselves in a rip current, which is a strong current running out to sea that can quickly drag people away from the shallows of the shoreline and out to deeper water.
Lifeguard Supervisor Beau Gillet said: ‘When we reached the girls they were close to drowning, with one trying to keep the other above the water. We were able to pull the girls out of the sea and brought them back to the shore in the IRB where they were assessed, reassured and treated with oxygen. We view this as two lives saved. They were taken by ambulance to Derriford Hospital for further checks.’
In the UK, the majority of RNLI lifeguard incidents involve rip currents. They are a major cause of accidental drowning on beaches all across the world.
Area Lifesaving Manager James Millidge said: ‘The access to Sharrow is currently closed to the public due to the unstable cliff face. Lifeguards are not providing patrols on the beach because of the unsafe access and are advising people in the area to go to lifeguarded beaches at Tregonhawke, Tregantle, Freathy or further along the coast at Seaton. Our lifeguards are always ready to provide advice to members of the public.’
The best way to avoid rip currents is to choose a lifeguarded beach and always swim between the red and yellow flags, which have been marked based on where is safer to swim in the current conditions. This also helps you to be spotted more easily, should something go wrong.
For more RNLI safety advice visit RNLI.org/RespectTheWater
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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, in a normal year, 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.