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RNLI lifeguards rescue man from powerful rip at Mawgan Porth

Lifeguards News Release

Yesterday morning (20 September), Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) lifeguards were alerted by HM Coastguard to reports of a man in difficulty in the water as they arrived at the beach ahead of starting work.


RNLI lifeguards (L-R) Theresa Morokutti, Mark Oliver and George Murphy

RNLI lifeguards Mark Oliver, Theresa Morokutti and George Murphy arrived at the beach at around 9:45am in preparation to start patrolling from 10am, when they received a call from the Coastguard to reports of a bodyboarder in difficulty in the water.

George and Theresa immediately went down to the water with the lifeguard truck and their rescue equipment, whilst Mark remained on the phone to continue communication between the Coastguard.

Although it was a bright and sunny morning at Mawgan Porth, the wind was very strong with 3-5ft surf and a low ebbing tide. Theresa said,

‘The conditions were really strong and the waves were very ‘dumpy’, so combined with the low spring tide it meant that even between the big sets of waves, there was so much water pulling back out to sea causing powerful rip currents.’

Once they spotted the casualty and reached the water, George grabbed a rescue board and began to paddle out towards him, whilst Theresa prepared to launch the rescue water-craft (RWC).

Newquay's RNLI lifeboat volunteers had also been paged to assist the bodyboarder as the initial reports came in before the lifeguards start work at 10am.

Lifeguard George reached the casualty who was exhausted by this point and managed to stabilize him with the rescue board as they waited for Theresa. George and Theresa then got the casualty onto the back of the RWC and brought him to safety on the shore where he was checked over by the lifeguard team.

The RNLI crew prepared for launch and took the charity's Atlantic 85 inshore lifeboat to the water's edge at Newquay Harbour, when it was confirmed that Mawgan Porth RNLI lifeguards, arriving at the beach had rescued the man from the water and the lifeboat crew were able to stand down and return to the boathouse.

Lewis Timson, RNLI Lifeguard Supervisor for Newquay says,

‘Our lifeguards are still working tirelessly to keep people safe as they enjoy the beaches into autumn. Here in Newquay we will continue to run a daily lifeguard service between 10am-6pm on Fistral, and from Sunday (26 September) a weekend-only service on Towan, Watergate Bay and Mawgan Porth until October half-term (23 - 31 October), when they will have daily cover.

We urge anyone planning on going in the water, to always visit a lifeguarded beach between operational hours and swim between the red and yellow flags. Always check the conditions and do not enter the water if you have any doubts. If you see anyone in trouble, call 999 or 112 and ask for the Coastguard.’

As we move away from summer, the lifesaving charity use a staggered approach to withdraw the lifeguard service based on a variety of factors including visitor numbers, previous incident statistics and local hazards.

The beaches in Newquay that will conclude their RNLI lifeguard service this Sunday (26 September) are:

· Crantock

· Great Western

· Tolcarne

· Porth

The charity has recently launched the RNLI South West Lifeguard Appeal with the aim of raising the funds needed to train the lifeguards to carry out their vital work. If you were helped by a RNLI lifeguard this summer, or if you simply want to make a kind donation, please visit our JustGiving page.

To make a donation to the RNLI’s South West Lifeguard Appeal, please visit:

To find your nearest lifeguarded beach visit:

To find out more information about rip currents and what to do if you find yourself caught in one visit:

Notes to editors

· Please find attached an image of Theresa (left), Mark (middle) and George (right) at Mawgan Porth (credit: RNLI)

· To support the RNLI’s lifeguard appeal visit:

· 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 (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].

RNLI online

For more information on the RNLI please visit News releases and other media resources, including RSS feeds, downloadable photos and video, are available at the RNLI News Centre

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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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.