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'I Thought This Was The End'
7:02am 19th August 2014
A dad has told of the moment he thought his daughter was being swept to her death off Newquay.
The fourteen year old was caught in a rip current at Porth on Monday evening, just after lifeguards had gone off duty.
Paul Lonsdale says he thought it was the end - as he got into trouble as he tried to rescue her.
Both the town's lifeboats and a helicopter from RNAS Culdrose were launched to pluck them to safety when they were left clinging to rocks.
Falmouth Coastguard requested the immediate launch of Newquay's two RNLI inshore lifeboats after receiving multiple 999 calls reporting swimmers in difficulties in the sea at Porth.
The charity's volunteers were alerted by their RNLI pagers at 6.14pm and launched the station's two lifeboats from Newquay Harbour at low-tide.
Arriving at the scene in a light north-westerly breeze and one-metre swell the RNLI lifeboat crews saw the man on the south-side of Porth Island and three RNLI volunteers on the smaller D-class inshore lifeboat Valerie Wilson went in towards the shore and rescued him from the rocks.
He was landed safely on Porth Beach where he was met by members of Newquay coastguard rescue team and treated for cuts to his feet.
Meanwhile, the man's teenage daughter had been swept across to the opposite side of the bay and managed to climb onto rocks at Glendorgal Point where she was winched to safety by the Royal Navy rescue helicopter from RNAS Culdrose and taken to hospital for precautionary checks.
A third person who had gone to their aid was able to climb to safety without assistance.
Volunteer Lifeboat Operations Manager Gareth Horner said: "Please only swim at a lifeguarded beach and during patrolled hours, 10am-6pm."
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