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VIDEO: Bank Holiday Rescues on Cornish Beaches

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10:12am 28th August 2013
(Updated 10:12am 28th August 2013)

A mum and her daughter are among ten people pulled to safety by Cornish lifeguards.

The Mawgan Porth rip tide rescue was part of a busy bank holiday weekend for the RNLI.

Five bodyboarders and two swimmers have been saved at Porthtowan after they were swept off a sandbank.

RNLI lifeguards Matt Trewhella and Matt Bannister went in with a rescue board and tube, while senior RNLI lifeguard Adam Bunt requested for assistance from RNLI lifeguards Kian Harris and Cameron Ward.

Kian went in with a rescue board while Adam and Cameron prepared to launch the inshore rescue boat (IRB) however between the two Matts and Kian, using a mixture of rescue boards and tubes they were able to get the swimmers and bodyboarders back to shore safely.

Matt Bannister used a rescue tube to rescue three swimmers who were all going under the water. He wrapped the tube around one swimmer and got the other two to hold onto the float while he swam them in

Drustan Ward, RNLI lifeguard supervisor said: "The RNLI lifeguards did a great job to bring all the casualties in extremely quickly, they were very grateful and one thanked them for saving his life.

"We had quite good sized surf but with the onshore wind and flooding tide, conditions weren't great. The RNLI lifeguards at neighbouring Chapel Porth had dealt with a very similar incident only an hour before."  

On Monday, RNLI lifeguard supervisor John Steadman and Jack Daniels saved three people at Mawgan Porth, two of them who were swimming were in serious difficulty and completely exhausted when the lifeguards plucked them out of the water.

John said: "Monday was so busy, we had about 1000 people on the beach and another 500 in the water.

"Conditions weren't ideal, we had a good four foot, solid swell, but at low tide it was really dumping on the banks.

"Around lunchtime, seeing the conditions start to deteriorate, myself and Jack launched the IRB to patrol the bathing area, pushing people back between the red and yellow flags and encouraging them to stay within their depth.

"Jack spotted the guy right in the middle of the bathing area waving his arm for help. He looked like he was bodyboarding, but as we got closer we could see he was being helped by someone with a bodyboard who was holding him up.

"A small group had been caught in a slight rip current, which had quickly taken them out of their depth and the waves were really crashing down on them."

John manoeuvred the IRB though the crowded bathing area, to reach the man who was trapped in the impact zone, just where the waves were breaking.

John had the difficult task of negotiating the breaking waves and avoiding other bathers, while Jack had to quickly grab hold of the man and pull him into the IRB.

John said: "He was absolutely exhausted and in a state of shock, he had really thought he wasn't going to make it.  

"We quickly checked everyone else was ok, they all signalled that they were and we took him back to shore. As we reached the beach, I radioed my lifeguard colleagues to assist and we immediately spotted another couple of people waving for help.

"We made our way back though the surf to pick up a mother and her daughter. The daughter was bodyboarding and the mother was swimming, they were both very frightened and exhausted.  It was just a case of quickly grabbing them and getting them back to shore as safely as possible.

"We treated the mother for secondary drowning and the first man was taken up to the lifeguard unit where he was met by paramedics who took over casualty care."

10:12am 28th August 2013

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