Harlyn RNLI lifeguards rescue 13-year-old boy swept out to sea
Yesterday afternoon (Tuesday 26 October) at around 1pm RNLI lifeguards at Harlyn were alerted by an off-duty lifeguard on neighbouring beach Trevone, to a young boy struggling in a rip current and being swept out to sea.
Off-duty RNLI lifeguard Ben Avery was on Trevone beach when he noticed a body-boarder in difficulty being pulled out to sea in a strong rip current. Ben immediately called the lifeguard unit at Harlyn to alert them of the situation.
In big surf conditions of 4-6ft RNLI lifeguard brothers Jordan and Jake Dean, who were part of the three-person team working at Harlyn, immediately launched the Inshore Rescue Boat (IRB) with Jordan as helm and Jake as crew.
Leon Bennett, RNLI Lifeguard Supervisor for Padstow, said,
‘At the time, Harlyn was extremely busy, so we positioned an extra lifeguard on the beach to provide additional safety cover whilst the IRB was launched. A member of the public had also called the Coastguard but because of the early call Ben had made, the lifeguards were on scene with the casualty in a matter of minutes.
‘The boy had been swept out in a strong rip current behind the breaking waves and around the corner from the beach. Luckily he’d done the right thing by keeping hold of his bodyboard, which enabled him to float and he wasn’t panicking which meant he could conserve his energy and control his breathing until the lifeguards pulled him into the IRB.’
The lifeguards returned the boy to the shore at Trevone where he met his parents who were very grateful he’d been returned safely. This rescue comes at the same time as several incidents along the north Cornwall coastline, with people needing the help of the RNLI after getting caught out by the sea conditions.
Many of the peak season beaches have finished their lifeguard service for 2021, so it’s really important to look on the RNLI website and check which beaches have safety cover.
‘Yesterday RNLI lifeguard Joe Jones who was on duty at Constantine beach was called to an incident to someone in difficulty in the water at neighbouring, un-lifeguarded Treyarnon beach. Last week Jordan, who was off-duty at the time, was involved in a separate incident in which he had to call an ambulance and perform casualty care on someone.
It’s a very busy half-term for the lifeguards but we urge anyone heading to the coast and planning on going in the water, to always choose a lifeguarded beach. Please always swim and bodyboard between the red and yellow flags as this is the safest place and actively patrolled by the lifeguards, who can spot you and come to your aid if needed.’
Newquay RNLI lifeguard team have experienced similar levels of incidents and people getting into danger. On Friday 22 October, a young girl was rescued after getting caught in a rip current at Crantock and becoming stranded on rocks. In a joint effort by Fistral lifeguards and Newquay RNLI lifeboat crew, the girl was safely extracted and returned to shore.
Lewis Timson, RNLI Lifeguard Supervisor in Newquay, adds,
‘The big surf conditions and strong winds forecast for the remainder of half-term means people should take extra care when planning their trip to the beach. Never enter the water alone and don’t push beyond your limits as that’s when you can get into danger. If you have any questions about the condition speak to the lifeguards, who are always happy to help and can offer important safety advice. If you see anyone in trouble in the water, alert the lifeguards or call 999 and ask for the Coastguard.’
If you ever find yourself caught in a rip current you should following this safety advice:
· Don’t try to swim against it or you’ll get exhausted.
· If you can stand, wade don’t swim.
· If you have a floatation device such as a bodyboard or surf board, keep hold of it as it will help you to float.
· If you can, swim parallel to the shore until free of the rip and then head for shore.
· Always try and get someone’s attention by raising your hand and shouting for help.
To find out more about the RNLI’s beach safety advice visit: https://rnli.org/safety/beach-safety
Notes to editors
· To find your nearest lifeguarded beach please visit: https://rnli.org/find-my-nearest/beaches-with-lifeguards-on-patrol
· To support the RNLI’s lifesavers visit: www.rnli.org/donate
· To support the RNLI’s lifeguard appeal visit: https://www.justgiving.com/campaign/SW-Lifeguard-Appeal-2021
RNLI media contacts
For more information please contact Claire Fitzpatrick-Smith, Media Engagement Placement (south west) on [email protected] or 07902 975993, or Amy Caldwell, Regional Media Manager on 07920 818807 or [email protected]. Alternatively, please contact the RNLI Press Office on 01202 336789 or [email protected].
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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