Fistral RNLI lifeguards rescue two teenagers from strong rip current

Lifeguards News Release

At around midday on Sunday 13 June, RNLI lifeguards at Fistral beach rescued two teenagers from an extremely strong rip current which had swept them out to sea.

During a weekend of soaring temperatures and packed beaches, the RNLI lifeguards at Fistral beach in Newquay spotted two bathers being swept out to sea by a flash rip current. The teenagers were swimming at a lifeguarded beach when the rip current appeared, so the RNLI lifeguards could immediately come to their assistance.

As one lifeguard, Janusz Burda, paddled out on a rescue board to aid the casualties in distress, local bodyboarder Warren Wilkins and a local surfer swam over to the teenagers to help them. Meanwhile, two other lifeguards, Arron Evans and Sonny Timpson, launched the rescue watercraft which arrived soon after. Once Arron had reached the casualties in the water, the RNLI lifeguards got the two teenagers to grab hold of the loops on the board at the back of the rescue watercraft and returned them safely to shore.

That afternoon (Sunday 13 June), a bodyboarder was also caught in a strong rip current at Fistral beach which prevented him from getting back to shore. One of the RNLI lifeguards on duty spotted the man getting into difficulty and immediately paddled out on a rescue board. The casualty was returned safely to shore.

Other similar incidents occurred over the weekend across the Newquay region. At Crantock beach, a learner surfer was rescued by a lifeguard on Sunday afternoon (13 June) after she was caught in a strong rip current towards the northern end of the beach. An RNLI lifeguard reacted immediately and reached her by rescue board, returning her safely to shore.

The river Gannel at Crantock has also been extremely busy in the hot weather, with RNLI lifeguards rescuing several people from the strong currents and deep water over the past week. RNLI lifeguards urge the public to swim between the red and yellow flags as this is marked out by the team as the safest area to swim.

Fistral RNLI Lifeguard Supervisor, John Steadman, said: ‘There are currently extremely strong rip currents at Fistral beach and other beaches within the region so our lifeguards are dealing with a number of related incidents. As these casualties visited a lifeguarded beach, we were able to quickly spot them in distress and immediately come to their aid.

We would like to remind the public to visit a lifeguarded beach and swim between the red and yellow flags, as it is the safest place to swim. If you are ever unsure about rip currents and where they are located, you should always speak to the lifeguards on duty who operate 10am-6pm.’

If you ever find yourself caught in a rip current, try to remember the following key safety advice:

  • Don’t try to swim against it, you will quickly 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
  • If you can’t swim – FLOAT to live by leaning back in the water, extending your arms and legs, and resisting the urge to thrash around to gain control of your breathing
  • 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.

Ends

Notes to editor

· Find out more about the lifeguards on Fistral beach: https://rnli.org/find-my-nearest/lifeguarded-beaches/fistral-beach

· 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

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For more information please contact Katie Moncur, Media Engagement Placement on katherine_moncur@rnli.org.uk or 07890041632, 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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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.

Rescue watercraft shown approaching two casualties in the water at Fistral beach

RNLI/Fistral

RNLI lifeguard on a rescue watercraft assist two casualties at Fistral beach

RNLI/Fistral

RNLI rescue watercraft being prepared to launch at Fistral beach

RNLI/Fistral

Fistral RNLI lifeguard Arron Evans on the rescue watercraft

RNLI/Nathan Williams

RNLI lifeguards training on a rescue watercraft

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.

Learn more about the RNLI

For more information please visit the RNLI website or Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. News releases, videos and photos are available on the News Centre.

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.