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Dramatic Rescue At Surf Competition

Fistral beach
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3:37pm 23rd October 2014

A surf competition at Fistral ends in a dramatic rescue.

Two surfers were caught in six foot swell and risked being dashed against rocks as the wind picked up on Friday.

Senior lifeguard Warren Llewellyn dubbed it the 'most dangerous rescue' he'd ever done, as he dodged massive sets to bring them to safety.

His bosses say it was 'outstanding'.

Warren explains: "I noticed one surfer get caught by a wave and driven closer to the rocks in the strong winds. It was high tide and the swell was about six foot, breaking onto the rocks. It was constant so I had to time it between the sets to get into the casualty. I managed to get in but the surfer's board had got tangled and so I had to leave again to miss the waves and avoid damaging the RWC. I waited for another lull and went back in, took his leash off to ditch his board and got him onto the rescue sled. We just managed to make it out with seconds to spare before the next big set of waves came in.

"I had to wait for a gap in the swell but the longer I waited the more danger the surfer risked getting into. I had one chance to get him, and luckily I managed to get him on the sled in a few seconds so we could get back out before the next wave. It was the most dangerous rescue I've ever done; I didn't have much time to get the casualties and risked damaging the RWC on the rocks and injuring myself. Fortunately I managed to get both casualties, uninjured and back to safety."

As a result of the changing conditions, the surf competition was moved to the middle of the beach for the rest of the weekend.

Lewis Timson, RNLI lifeguard supervisor for Fistral, adds: 'Warren performed an outstanding rescue in difficult circumstances and saved the lives of the two surfers.'

RNLI lifeguards remain on duty at Fistral beach every day in October, and will carry out voluntary patrols at weekends in November.

3:37pm 23rd October 2014

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