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Two lives saved in dangerous rip currents by RNLI lifeguards at Cornish beach

Lifeguards News Release

RNLI lifeguards at Tregantle beach in south east Cornwall came to the rescue of a group of six people, saving two lives and assisting four others after they got into difficulty in a strong rip current on Friday (11 August).


RNLI lifeguards Beau Gillett and Mark Oliver who carried out the rescue at Tregantle beach on Friday 11 August

On the westerly side (Long Sands) of Tregantle beach in Cornwall on Friday afternoon, the patrolling RNLI lifeguards spotted a group of six people entering the water through their binoculars and were quick to act after noticing the group were struggling to get back to shore.

The Inshore Rescue Boat (IRB) was launched by lifeguards Beau Gillett and Mark Oliver, who reached the scene to find a casualty being held above the water by two of his friends. The struggling casualty was aided safely onto the IRB and dropped back to the beach. On their return to the water, the lifeguards rescued a female casualty who was struggling to stay afloat and took her safely to the shore. The remaining four swimmers were assisted to swim back to the beach.

Beau Gillett, Seasonal Lifeguard Supervisor for south east Cornwall said;

‘All six of these casualties were extremely grateful following their rescue, realising the severity of the situation and the importance of swimming between the red and yellow flags. Rip currents are a major cause of accidental drowning on beaches and are particularly common along Tregantle beach.

‘I strongly advise people to choose a lifeguarded beach and always swim between the red and yellow flags, which have been marked based on where is safer to swim in the current conditions. This also helps the lifeguards spotted you more easily, should something go wrong.’

If you do find yourself caught in a rip:

- Don’t try to swim against it or you’ll get exhausted.

- If you can stand, wade don’t swim.

- If you can, swim parallel to the shore until free of the rip and then head for shore.

- Always raise your hand and shout for help.

Notes to editors

Please find an image of RNLI lifeguards Beau Gillett and Mark Oliver who carried out the rescue at Tregantle beach on Friday 11 August. (Credit: RNLI)

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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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