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30 Rescues In Rip Currents At Polzeath

Lifeguards polzeath
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4:55pm 12th August 2014
(Updated 4:55pm 12th August 2014)

More than 30 swimmers and body boarders have been rescued from rip currents at Polzeath.

Lifeguards extended patrols on Monday night amid fears conditions were too dangerous.

Many of those plucked to safety in the space of just an hour and a half were children.

Flood warnings have been issued for the north Cornwall coast on Tuesday night, ahead of the high spring tides.

Senior lifeguard Ben Miskowicz explains: "The conditions at Polzeath this week are particularly challenging, we have a high tide, strong onshore winds and large swell. The winter storms have changed the typography of Polzeath and now at high tide we have some rip currents at both the northern and southern end of the beach. The northern rip is particularly prominent at high tide at the moment and between 6pm and 7.15pm last night the lifeguards assisted 32 people who'd fallen off the bank of sand and straight into the path of the rip current.

"I was at the cliff top unit at the south end of the beach and Chris was at the northern end while Craig, Phil and Christian were in the water on rescue boards. As we had a higher view we were able to spot casualties and guide the lifeguards in the water to them. I could see how strong the rip was, when the lifeguards stopped paddling on the rescue board they were pulled away very quickly, it was incredibly strong."

Today is the highest tide of the year, with high tide at Polzeath at 7.15pm, so lifeguards are urging people to take extra care in the conditions.

Chris Wafer, RNLI lifeguard supervisor, said: "The lifeguard team did a fantastic job last night in challenging conditions and received praise from many members of the public for their efforts in keeping people safe.

"We've seen strong onshore winds and a big swell combined with spring tides in recent days which have created these difficult conditions. With another large tide tonight it's possible the lifeguard team may stay on later again to ensure everybody is safe. If you are heading to the beach please speak to the lifeguards to find out the hazards and take heed of their advice."

4:55pm 12th August 2014

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