Challaborough RNLI lifeguards rescue seven children from the incoming tide
Senior RNLI lifeguard Harry Durant was alerted to an incident involving seven young children who were stranded on rocks out to sea at Challaborough beach in South Devon. They were out of their depth and about 30 meters away from the shore.
On Saturday (28 May) at around 1:30pm on an incoming spring tide, the children were rock-pooling on a stretch of rocks easily accessible at low tide. It can be a popular rock-pooling area but also very dangerous if you don’t allow enough time to get back on to dry land. As the tide was flooding in, the rocks soon became isolated as water rapidly filled the gully between the rocks and the beach resulting in the children being stuck, surrounded by water.
It was a calm, sunny day, but the incoming tide had caught the youngsters off-guard and RNLI lifeguard, Harry Durant quickly entered the water with a rescue board and paddled out to the children.
He ferried them in two at a time on the front of his rescue board making four trips in total to the rocks and back returning all seven children safely to shore, the youngest being just four years old. Harry reunited them with their families who were very thankful.
RNLI Lifeguard supervisor, Luke Lane-Prokopiou says:
This is a huge reminder to always be aware of the local tide times and to always keep an eye on your family whilst at the beach and in the water. Sea conditions and tidal movement are constantly changing, even on the calmest of days, so please check your surroundings and keep safe at the coast this summer. We always encourage anybody visiting the coast to always choose a lifeguarded beach and swim between the red and yellow flags.’
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 photos of Challaborough beach and RNLI lifeguard, Harry Durant
- 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 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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