Watergate Bay RNLI lifeguards complete mass rescue

Lifeguards News Release

RNLI lifeguards at Watergate Bay rescued five swimmers and assisted a further ten on Saturday afternoon (14 June).

RNLI/Jessica Putt

Watergate Bay RNLI lifeguards

At around 2:45pm Saturday afternoon, RNLI lifeguards noticed that swimmers had begun to drift outside of the red and yellow flags due to a strong current that had arisen as the low tide began pushing in.

Due to the topography of the beach at this stage of the tide, RNLI lifeguards Georgia Timson and Nick Hards were already patrolling the area between the red and yellow flags as a precaution. As soon as they spotted the drifting swimmers, they immediately paddled over on their rescue boards. It quickly became apparent that a large number of people needed help and over the next fifteen minutes the lifeguards rescued five swimmers and aided a further 10.

One of the individuals rescued was having an asthma attack which was causing him to panic. RNLI senior lifeguard Kerk Letham brought him back to shore and monitored him while he took his own inhaler.

Mark Priem, RNLI lifeguard supervisor for the area, said:

‘Whilst all the swimmers were doing the correct thing by swimming between the red and yellow flags, weather and tide conditions can suddenly change, as they did on Saturday which caused the swimmers to drift away from the flagged area.

This rescue comes only a few weeks after RNLI lifeguards at nearby Fistral beach aided 16 people caught in a rip current.

We suggest that all beachgoers visit a lifeguarded beach as we provide much greater safety for swimmers and water sports enthusiasts. We also advise to keep an eye on the flags whilst swimming in case conditions change and to ask the lifeguards on duty for any advice’

Notes to Editor

  • Photo attached: Watergate Bay RNLI lifeguards
  • 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 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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