Gwithian RNLI lifeguards rescue family of five

Lifeguards News Release

RNLI lifeguards at Gwithian spotted a family of five caught in a rip current Wednesday (1 August) afternoon


Still from GoPro footage of rescue of family of five by RNLI lifeguards at Gwithian

Due to the large six foot surf and strong southerly winds, RNLI lifeguard Andrea Harvey was already on patrol on a rescue board when she spotted the family in difficulty. They had become caught in a sudden rip current that had opened up and were being swept out to sea to the south of the red and yellow flags. RNLI lifeguard supervisor Ollie Shilston who was observing from the lifeguard unit at the top of the cliff had already noticed the family in difficulty and ran down to the beach to assist Andrea.

By the time Ollie reached the scene, the one adult and four children were clinging to Andrea’s rescue board in an attempt to stay afloat. Ollie assisted one child back to shore using a rescue tube whilst Andrea and colleague Anya Piotrowicz helped the remaining four casualties ashore using the rescue boards. RNLI lifeguard Barney Stevens also assisted in the rescue using the jet ski (RWC).

Ollie said:

‘This was a tricky situation for the family to find themselves in and we have been experiencing lots of rip currents in this area and around the whole region.

We advise anyone caught in a rip current to don’t try to swim against it or you’ll quickly become exhausted. If you have a bodyboard or some form of floatation device with you, keep hold of it and use it to keep you afloat. Raise your hand and shout for help to attract the lifeguards’ attention.’

Notes to Editor

  • RNLI lifeguards patrol over 249 beaches around the UK and Channel Islands
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Still from GoPro footage of rescue of family of five by Gwithian RNLI lifeguards

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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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