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RNLI Lifeguards rescue Labrador struggling to return to the beach at Praa Sands

Lifeguards News Release

On Thursday (3 June) at 2pm, Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) lifeguards in Praa Sands, Cornwall rescued a chocolate Labrador who had gotten into difficulty after swimming very far out to sea.

The charity’s lifeguards were carrying out their normal patrol of the water during a busy afternoon, when RNLI lifeguard Kieran Roberts noticed a dog was far out to sea attempting to swim in but making little progress.

In order to check on the dog’s welfare, they launched the Inshore Rescue Boat (IRB) with Kieran as helm and RNLI lifeguard Guy Brooks as crew. The lifeguards were able to reach the dog quickly, who was really starting to struggle in the water. Guy manged to scoop the dog into the IRB whilst Kieran kept the boat as steady as possible.

Both Kieran and Guy initially checked the dog was ok and reassured it with lots of strokes as they returned to shore. As the boat pulled up to the sand, the lifeguards were met with a round of applause from on-lookers at the beach. The dog’s owners were very grateful to the lifeguards and delighted to have their dog returned to them safely.

Adam Harris, RNLI Lifeguard Supervisor said,

‘The dog’s owners did absolutely the right thing by not attempting to go into the water after their dog. Instead they allowed the lifeguards, who are specially trained in rescue techniques and have the advantage of specialist equipment, to manage the situation.

‘If you enter the water attempting to rescue an animal or person, you are directly putting yourself in danger and may need to be rescued yourself. Always remember to ask the lifeguards for help or call 999 and ask for the Coastguard.’

Across south Cornwall the beaches have seen a huge number of visitors during the past week thanks to half-term and some much-needed sunshine. RNLI lifeguards deal with anything from missing children to water rescues.

Adam Harris continued saying: ‘Lifeguards covering the beaches in south west Cornwall have been really busy due to the amount of people visiting the coast. As well as first aid incidents we have had a few board-rescues involving people getting caught in rip currents, especially at low-tide on beaches such as Praa Sands, Poldhu and Gyllyngvase.

‘If you are planning to go in the water, don’t go in alone and always swim between the red and yellow flags. If you do find yourself caught in a rip current, try to stay calm. If you have a flotation device such as a body-board - keep hold of it as it will help you to float. Don’t try to swim against the rip current, if you can, swim parallel to the beach and always shout for help.’

The RNLI’s key safety advice when walking dogs near the coast is:

- Keep dogs on a lead if you are close to cliff edges or fast flowing rivers.

- If your dog enters the water or gets stuck in the mud, do not go in after them. Move to a place they can get to safely and call them.

- If you are worried about your dog or cannot get them to safety, call 999 or 112 and ask for the Coastguard.

Notes to editors

· Please find attached rescue footage and an image of RNLI lifeguards Kieran Roberts and Guy Brooks rescuing a dog at Praa Sands, credit: RNLI

· Follow the link to see which beaches are currently lifeguarded

· To support the RNLI’s lifesavers, go to:

RNLI media contacts

For more information please contact Claire Fitzpatrick-Smith, Media Engagement Placement (Southwest) on [email protected] or 07472979209, or Amy Caldwell, Regional Media Manager on 07920818807 or [email protected]. Alternatively, please contact the RNLI Press Office on 01202 336789 or [email protected].

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RNLI lifeguard Kieran Roberts (helm) and Guy Brooks (crew) bringing the dog back to the beach in the IRB

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.