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RNLI Lifeguards in south east Cornwall rescue 20 people in less than a week

Lifeguards News Release

While the peak lifeguarding season finished on September 3, RNLI lifeguards in south east Cornwall had a very busy week last week (4-10 September).

RNLI/south east Cornwall Lifeguards

RNLI south east Cornwall lifeguard team 2023

Lifeguards patrolling the beaches along Whitsand Bay, and Seaton in south east Cornwall rescued 20 people in difficulty in the sea during the six day period, saving the lives of five people. The combination of fine weather and big surf meant that beaches remained busy even though the summer holidays have come to an end.

Last Friday, (8 September) was a particularly busy day, with a four-to-five-foot surf running and sunny weather. RNLI lifeguards patrolling Tregonhawke, Sharrow and Seaton were kept busy keeping people safe. They also performed regular roving patrols on neighbouring Tregantle, where the lifeguard service reduced to weekend only patrols at the end of peak season. Whilst there, the lifeguards saved three bathers who had been caught in a rip.

Charlie Gillet, RNLI Lead Lifeguard Supervisor for south east Cornwall said:

‘With big clean surf and sunny conditions for an extended period it has been a very busy time for our lifeguard team at Whitsand Bay. They have really had their work cut out over the last week. Their vigilance and hard work has undoubtedly saved a number of lives and prevented a number of major incidents.

‘While the service at Tregantle has been reduced to weekends until the end of September. Tregonhawke, Sharrow and Seaton will be patrolled every day until 24 September and we’d encourage anyone in south east Cornwall wanting to use the water to head to one of these beaches.

‘Remember to swim between the red and yellow flags, the lifeguards position them in the safest area of the beach.’

As we approach the winter season, the sea conditions tend to change. We have rougher seas and bigger waves, which both increase the likelihood of rip currents. If you get caught in a rip current:

· Do not fight 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 a hand and shout for help

RNLI Float to Live advice can be found at: Float To Live – What To Do In An Emergency – RNLI

Media Contacts

For more information please contact Anya Walton Media Engagement Placement [email protected] or 07890066217, Amy Caldwell Regional Media Manager [email protected] or 07920818807.


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.