RNLI lifeguards rescue group of 17 from flash-rip off Bournemouth Pier beach

Lifeguards News Release

RNLI lifeguards have rescued a group of 17 people who were caught in a flash-rip current off Bournemouth Pier beach this afternoon.

RNLI lifeguards

RNLI/Callum Robinson

RNLI lifeguards

The charity’s lifeguards were monitoring the red and yellow flagged area on Bournemouth Pier shorty before 1pm today when they noticed a large group of people enjoying the sea on the east side of the beach. Due to the number of people within the group, one of the lifeguards decided to paddle out on a rescue board to speak to the group and offer advice.

As the lifeguard was paddling over to the group, a flash-rip current started to form, and the group were swept out to sea.

The RNLI lifeguard immediately made his way over to the group and assisted six casualties onto the rescue board whilst calling over to his colleagues for assistance. Within minutes, nine RNLI lifeguards were on the water assisting the group to safety. The charity’s lifeguards brought all 17 casualties safely back ashore using rescue boards and an RNLI rescue water craft.

Back on dry land, one person from the group was checked over by an on-site medic but thankfully all were safe and well after the incident.

Ethan Fox, RNLI Lifeguard Supervisor said:

‘Today’s rescue was a great team effort by the RNLI lifeguards, with every member of the lifeguard team working together to assist all members of the group to safety.

‘It’s very unusual for a flash-rip current to develop in this area, but when they do form they develop quickly. Thankfully the group were well prepared and had followed the charity’s advice by swimming between the red and yellow flags – this is the area that’s closely monitored by the lifeguards throughout the day. If this would have happened outside the flags, the lifeguards would not have been able to respond so quickly and assist the large group safely back to shore.’

For more information on how to stay safe on the beach this summer visit rnli.org/beachsafety


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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 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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