RNLI lifeguards involved in human and animal rescues during a busy weekend

Lifeguards News Release

RNLI lifeguards patrolling a stretch of just seven beaches along the north coast of Cornwall dealt with 372 incidents, including an animal rescue this weekend (31 July –2 August).

RNLI/Ben Gardiner

Perranporth RNLI lifeguards patrolling at the weekend

In total, RNLI lifeguards who patrol the seven beaches between Portreath to Holywell Bay rescued 38 people from the water, with an additional 245 people assisted back to shore, 16 lost children, 64 minor first aids and 7 major first aids. Lifeguards on busy tourist hot spot Perranporth dealt with 30 rescues on Sunday alone as well as first aids as the charity reported beaches around the region were busier than ever.

Not only were the RNLI lifeguards dealing with multiple (human) rescues, they also dealt with a terrapin (fresh water turtle) who had been missing from its owners for six weeks. The terrapin had escaped and travelled downstream for almost two miles before being picked up by a member of the public and handed to the lifeguards at Perranporth beach on Friday (31 July). The owners were delighted when they heard it had turned up at the beach via the community Facebook page.

RNLI lifeguard supervisor, Ben Gardiner says, ‘The beaches are the busiest we have ever seen them, Perranporth beach recorded 14,000 beach goers on Thursday alone and this is just a snapshot of seven of the 45 beaches in Cornwall that are providing a lifeguard service this summer, but reflective of the picture around the coast. It’s the kind of numbers and scenes we expect on a Bank Holiday weekend, but at the moment it is every single day.

‘It's great to see people enjoying the coast and we’d really urge people coming to the beach to heed the safety advise from lifeguards, please keep an eye on your children, stay within the flags, and within your depth. The surf that comes in from the Atlantic creates strong rip currents on most of the beaches along the north coast, catching those not used to these conditions out.

‘We’d like to remind the public that our lifeguards must always be approached with social distancing in mind and to always stand 2m away from the lifeguard when talking to them so they can keep themselves and the public safe.’

Notes to Editors

· Please find attached photos of the terrapin animal rescue and our RNLI lifeguards on patrol at Perranporth beach this weekend

· Follow the link to see which beaches are currently lifeguarded https://rnli.org/find-my-nearest/beaches-with-lifeguards-on-patrol

· To support the RNLI’s lifesavers, go to: www.rnli.org/donate

Media contacts
For more information please contact Becky Bright, Regional Media Engagement Placement on Becky_Bright@rnli.org.uk or 07375855897, or Amy Caldwell, Regional Media Manager on Amy_Caldwell@rnli.org.uk or 07920818807 or RNLI Press Office on 01202 336789 or via pressoffice@rnli.org.uk .

RNLI/Drustan Ward

Rescued Terrapin turtle at Perranporth beach

RNLI/Ben Gardiner

Busy weekend at Perranporth beach

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 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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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.