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Busy Jubilee weekend for Praa Sands RNLI lifeguards

Lifeguards News Release

RNLI lifeguards at Praa Sands beach in Cornwall dealt with multiple incidents over a very busy Jubilee bank holiday weekend. The county was basking in sunshine on Thursday (2 June) and Friday (3 June) coupled with a large swell on the south coast and lots of visitors to the area.

RNLI/Matt Stone

Praa Sands RNLI lifeguards launching the inshore rescue boat

Praa Sands beach on the Cornish south coast, recorded over 8,000 visitors over both days and RNLI lifeguards were kept very busy due to the large surf, offshore winds and strong rip currents. These conditions lead to a number of incidents including 29 rescues, of which nine were surfing, 17 bodyboarding, two people kayaking and one person swimming. Despite trying to keep water users between the relevant flagged areas, flash rip currents were appearing across the beach as the 4ft surf rolled in, pulling people off the sandbanks into deeper water.

The lifeguards used a combination of rescue equipment including rescue boards, rescue tubes and the inshore rescue boat (IRB) to help the people in difficulty. They also assisted an additional 61 people back to safety over the bank holiday and dealt with five first-aid incidents and reunited a lost child with his parents.

RNLI Lifeguard Supervisor, Matthew Stone, says:

'Our RNLI lifeguard teams showed fantastic dedication and courage to keep everyone safe over the Jubilee weekend, on what were two of the busiest days on our beaches since I can remember. Their teamwork and professionalism really shone through dealing with multiple incidents and challenging sea conditions.

‘It is so important to swim between the red and yellow flags because flash rip currents can occur without warning and being inside the patrolled area is the best way to enjoy the water safely.’

The RNLI is urging anyone visiting the coast this summer to make sure they keep themselves and their families safe by following beach safety advice:

· Visit a lifeguarded beach and swim between the red and yellow flags.

· Check the weather forecast, tide times and read local hazard signage to understand local risks.

· Keep a close eye on your family – on the beach and in the water – don’t allow your family to swim alone.

· If you fall into the water unexpectedly, FLOAT TO LIVE. Fight your instinct to thrash around, lean back, extend your arms and legs, and float.

· In an emergency dial 999/112 and ask for the Coastguard.

Notes to editors

- Please see attached photos of Praa Sands RNLI lifeguards

- To find your nearest lifeguarded beach, please visit:

RNLI media contacts

For more information please contact Becky Bright, RNLI Media Engagement Placement (South West) on 07929 673281 or [email protected] or Emma Haines, Regional Media Officer on [email protected]. Alternatively, please contact the RNLI Press Office on 01202 336789 or [email protected].

RNLI/Matt Stone

Praa Sands beach

RNLI/Matt Stone

Two of Praa Sands RNLI lifeguards

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.