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RNLI lifeguards rescue two girls from rip current

Lifeguards News Release

RNLI Lifeguards have issued a safety warning after rescuing two young girls who got caught in a rip current off Whitsand Bay.

RNLI

The access to Sharrow is currently closed to the public due to the unstable cliff face

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 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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