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Croyde lifeguard rescues two children from rip current

Lifeguards News Release

A Croyde RNLI lifeguard saved the lives of two children when they were caught in a rip current on Saturday 1 June


Gary Sinkevicius RNLI lifeguard

The children (7 and 13 years old) had jumped into the water and were suddenly caught in a strong rip current. Upon seeing the children in danger, a member of the public who was walking nearby jumped into the water to go to the aid of the children.

The casualties entered the water approximately 400m down the beach from the red and yellow flagged area, which is most closely patrolled by the lifeguards. Warning signs and red flags were in place due to dangerous conditions. Lifeguard Supervisor, Gary Sinkevicius, was alerted to the situation by a member of the public. He immediately grabbed the rescue board and quickly entered the water while another lifeguard went to launch the Rescue Water Craft (RWC).

When Gary reached them, they had been sucked out to where big waves were breaking. Gary helped the girl onto his rescue board, as she was struggling the most. The boy managed to get to the board and hold on to the side. The man assisting the rescue also made his way over and held on to the board.

Gary then paddled all three safely back to shore where the emergency services were called. The casualites were taken to hospital by air ambulance to be checked over.

Gary said:

‘Without our intervention, this could have escalated into a much more serious incident. We advise the public to swim between red and yellow flags. These flags mark where it is safer to swim in the current conditions and swimming here helps you to be spotted more easily, should something go wrong. We would also remind parents and guardians to closely supervise their children at the beach – while a day at the beach is great fun, there are a lot of hazards, so dangerous situations like this one can develop quickly.

‘Although the man who jumped in to help the children behaved heroically, we do ask that you never attempt to perform a rescue yourself as you can then end up in danger too. Our lifeguards are highly trained with excellent knowledge of the local area. If you do see someone in trouble at the coast, alert a lifeguard or dial 999 and ask for the Coastguard.’

The RNLI offers the following advice if you are caught in a rip, that could save your life:

- Don’t try to swim against it or you’ll get exhausted.
- If you can stand, wade don’t swim.
- If you can, swim parallel to the shore until free of the rip and then head for shore.
- Always raise your hand and shout for help.

Notes to editors

  • A photo of Lifeguard Supervisor, Gary Sinkevicius

  • RNLI media contacts

  • For more information, contact Amy Caldwell RNLI Regional Media Manager on 07920 818807 or email [email protected]

Key facts about the RNLI

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 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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Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries

Members of the public may contact the RNLI on 0300 300 9990 (UK) or 1800 991802 (Ireland) or by email.