RNLI Lifeguards rescue sisters stranded on rocks as waves crashed against them

Lifeguards News Release

On Tuesday (8 June) just before 4pm Royal National Lifeguard Institutuion (RNLI) lifeguards in Perran Sands were returning from a tidal cut-off patrol in the Inshore Rescue Boat (IRB),

RNLI/Claire Fitzpatrick-Smith

RNLI lifeguards Charlie Florey and Max Lawrence at Perran Sands

when a woman approached them in distress saying her daughters were stranded on rocks with waves crashing against them.

The mother was on the phone to her eldest daughter (21 years old) who had frantically called her after becoming stranded with her sister (14 years old), due to the incoming tide when walking from neighbouring beach Perranporth. After getting the initial rough location of the sisters, Senior RNLI lifeguards Charlie Florey and Max Lawrence immediately launched the IRB.

With Charlie as helm and Max as crew they set off towards an area known locally as ‘high cliffs’ where the sisters were thought to be. Max said, ‘It was imperative we located the girls as quickly as possible. The tide was pushing in with building swell and the sea was already surrounding high cliffs.’

Meanwhile at the beach RNLI Lifeguard Joel Instance was on the phone to the elder sister, reassuring her to stay calm and remain on the rocks in order for the lifeguards on the IRB to be able to spot them and come to their aid. Max continued:,

‘When we spotted the girls, they were on two separate rocks with waves crashing against them. They had run out of options to climb any higher and the tide was still coming in. When we reached them they were understandably scared and in distress, we reassured them we would get them on the boat and back to safety as soon as we could.

‘We went to the older sister first, as she was on a lower rock, in a more dangerous position. Charlie helped her into the IRB as I held the boat steady against the conditions. We dropped her back to the beach and went straight back out to the younger sister.

‘Once we beached the boat and reunited the younger sister with her family, there was a real sense of the seriousness of what could have happened. The father shook Charlie’s hand and you could tell how appreciative and grateful they all were. We are just glad that this was the outcome and we managed to return both girls to their family.’

Ben Gardiner, RNLI Lifeguard Supervisor, said,

‘The lifeguards at Perran Sands and Perranporth routinely carry out tidal cut-off patrols due to the risk and potential danger of people getting caught out trying to walk between the beaches. The sisters are very lucky that the lifeguards were able to reach them in time and return them safely to their family.

Tidal ranges on UK beaches are vast and it’s important to understand tide times and what that means for the beach you are visiting, as this will have an effect on when certain areas become inaccessible. That’s why we urge anyone visiting the coast to head to a lifeguarded beach where you can speak to the lifeguards about tide times for the day and any cut-off areas to be aware of.’

As well as speaking to the lifeguards you can also get local tidal information from the Harbour Master, tourist information centre and some seaside retail outlets.

Notes to editors

· Please find attached an image of RNLI Senior Lifeguards Charlie Florey and Max Lawrence with the Inshore Rescue Boat at Perran Sands, credit: RNLI

· 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

RNLI media contacts

For more information please contact Claire Fitzpatrick-Smith, Media Engagement Placement (Southwest) on c_fitzpatrick-smith@rnli.org.uk or 07472979209, or Amy Caldwell, Regional Media Manager on 07920818807 or Amy_Caldwell@rnli.org.uk. Alternatively, please contact the RNLI Press Office on 01202 336789 or pressoffice@rnli.org.uk.

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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 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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