RNLI lifeguards at Perran Sands rescue father and daughter

Lifeguards News Release

RNLI lifeguards at Perran Sands have rescued six people over the past two days including a father and daughter who became caught in a sudden rip current.

RNLI/Jessica Putt

RNLI lifeguards Harry Llewelyn , Frazer Thompson-Hewitt, Samson Tellam and Tom McRitchie

On Tuesday 31 July, RNLI lifeguards at Perran Sands were alerted to three young bodyboarders struggling in a sudden rip current. RNLI senior lifeguard Frazer Thompson-Hewitt and colleague Jackson Edwards immediately launched their inshore rescue boat (IRB), picked up the group and returned them to safety ashore.

Having brought these casualties back to the beach, Jackson then spotted a father and daughter who were also caught in a rip current and were being swept out to sea. Jackson immediately entered the water using a rescue board and arrived on scene just as they became separated. The father had been holding his daughter just above the water but had become exhausted and was losing his grip on her.

Jackson said:

‘I reached the little girl just as she was slipping out of her father’s grip. I immediately helped her and held her above the water until Frazer arrived in the IRB and we helped her into the boat. In the meantime, her father had become extremely exhausted attempting to hold her up and had begun to slip under the water. I managed to grab him just before he went under and myself and Frazer helped him into the IRB.’

Frazer said:

‘There was a lot of water movement in these sudden rip currents and, with the irregular sets of very big surf, it was difficult to hold the IRB in position to transfer the casualties across. Thankfully, Jackson managed to get hold of the two casualties just as they were beginning to slip under the water.’

The lifeguards were alerted to a sudden rip current again yesterday (Wednesday 1 August). RNLI lifeguard Harry Llwelyn and senior RNLI lifeguards Frazer Thompson-Hewitt were carrying out routine patrol at the water’s edge when they noticed a swimmer signalling for help.

The swimmer was being swept out to sea and the large surf had begun to break over his head. Harry immediately paddled over to the casualty on a rescue board and reached the casualty who was close to drowning and beginning to panic. Harry helped him onto the rescue board and back to safety ashore.

Ben Gardiner, RNLI lifeguard supervisor for the area, said:

‘It has been a really busy few days here at a Perranporth and around Cornwall we have seen lots of rescues involving people caught in rip currents. If you are planning on heading to the beach this weekend, especially with the hot weather set to return, please come to a lifeguarded one.

Always remember to swim between the red and yellow flags as this marks the safest swimming area on the beach. If you do find yourself caught in a rip current, don’t try and swim against it. If you can, stand up or swim parallel to the shore until free of the rip. Raise your hand and shout for help to attract the lifeguards’ attention.’

Notes to Editor

· Photo attached: RNLI lifeguards Harry Llewelyn , Frazer Thompson-Hewitt, Samson Tellam and Tom McRitchie

  • RNLI lifeguards patrol over 249 beaches around the UK and Channel Islands

RNLI Media Contacts

For more information, please contact Jessica Putt, Media Engagement Placement, at jessica_putt@rnli.org.uk or Amy Caldwell, Regional Media Manager, at amy_caldwell@rnli.org.uk.

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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.

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