Bude RNLI assist with the rescue of people caught in a rip current

Lifeboats News Release

Bude RNLI inshore lifeboat was launched on the 8th August at approximately 6.45pm to reports of two casualties caught in a rip off Crooklets beach.

Luckily for the casualties two locals, Alex Boardman and Mini Fry (off duty lifeguard and Bude lifeboat Deputy Launching Authority), were nearby and raced to their rescue.

Mr Fry was in a surf ski and Mr Boardman was able to acquire a surfboard in order to reach the casualties in the nick of time.

Bude volunteer lifeboat crew handed the casualties over to Bude coastguard rescue team.

Rips are strong currents running out to sea, which can quickly drag people and debris away from the shallows of the shoreline and out to deeper water.

Rip currents can be difficult to spot, but are sometimes identified by a channel of churning, choppy water on the sea's surface.

If you do find yourself caught in a rip:

  • 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.
If you see anyone else in trouble, alert the lifeguards or call 999 or 112 and ask for the coastguard.

Liam Sharpe, Lifeboat Operations Manager, said 'From everyone at Bude Lifeboat we'd like to extend our thanks to Mini and Alex for their quick thinking which helped to prevent a tragedy. The casualties were lucky that both Alex and Mini were close by and experienced in dealing with rip currents. If you're heading to the coast be beach safe and don't take risks in the water. The best way to avoid rips is to choose a lifeguarded beach and always swim between the red and yellow flags, which have been marked based on where is safer to swim in the current conditions. This also helps you to be spotted more easily, should something go wrong.'

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.