Gwithian and Godrevy RNLI lifeguards rescue two swimmers in danger
RNLI lifeguards at Gwithian and Godrevy beach in Cornwall carried out a major rescue today (Wednesday 29 June). Large surging waves, an incoming tide, strong on-shore winds and flash rip currents all contributed to dangerous sea conditions to the north of the patrolled area.
Senior RNLI lifeguard at Godrevy, Phil Wilson, was carrying out observations around 1pm at a neighbouring cove to the north of Godrevy beach (Top Cove) when he spotted two people in the water being dragged out to sea, and by-standers waving for help.
Godrevy lifeguard Alfie Brown had also spotted the incident from the beach lifeguard unit (BLU) through his binoculars and immediately requested assistance from Gwithian lifeguards to launch the rescue water craft (RWC). Alfie picked up a rescue board and quickly ran across the dunes towards Top Cove to assist the RWC.
Senior RNLI lifeguard at Gwithian, Ant Stewart, sped over to the swimmers as quickly as possible, beating through 5ft surging waves on his way over and pulled the swimmers out of the water and onto the back of the RWC sled.
Due to the challenging sea conditions, Ant returned the swimmers to shore immediately at Godrevy beach and made sure they were calm and comfortable whilst giving them safety advice.
‘This was an amazing team effort rescuing two swimmers caught up in a very dangerous situation. Both Gwithian and Godrevy lifeguard teams responded within seconds and their teamwork and professionalism in a very pressurised situation really shone through.
‘The incident occurred outside of the lifeguard’s operational area. We advise anybody visiting the coast to always choose a lifeguarded beach and speak to the local lifeguards for advice before entering the water.’
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 photo of Gwithian RNLI lifeguards, credit Jack Hoare
- To find your nearest lifeguarded beach, please visit: https://rnli.org/find-my-nearest/lifeguarded-beaches
RNLI media contacts
For more information please contact Becky Bright, RNLI Media Engagement Placement (South West) on 07929 673281 or [email protected] or Amy Caldwell, Regional Media Manager on [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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