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VIDEO: 3 Surfers Die At Mawgan Porth
10:18am 27th October 2014
(Updated 10:18am 27th October 2014)
Three surfers have died after getting caught in a rip current near Newquay.
Emergency crews were called to Mawgan Porth this afternoon - after getting a series of calls for help.
They found a group of seven people. Four teenagers had made it to the beach, but three adults were still in the water.
Lifeboats from Newquay and Padstow as well as a search and rescue helicopter from RNAS Culdrose were scrambled to the scene.
Three people were pulled from the sea - two had to be given CPR.
Cornwall and Devon's air ambulances helped get those involved to hospital, but doctors could not save them.
Rescuers told us they had been in the water for "quite a long period of time" amid pounding surf.
A spokesperson for the ambulance service described the teenagers as "walking wounded." They were wrapped in blankets and taken to the local pub before being checked over.
Nick Bennett is the landlord. He told Pirate FM: "As you know Mawgan Porth is a very close knit community. There's a great sense of loss here. The locals, the holidaymakers alike can't believe this has happened. I know I speak on behalf of myself, everyone here in the business and the local community - our condolences go out to the families and everyone who was involved in the accident.
"I wouldn't say it was rough, I wouldn't say it was calm. It was just a normal winter's waves that you could say. I wouldn't say it was dangerous or hazardous in any way. What I would say is that accidents happen. And today a tragic accident has happened."
The deceased have not been formally identified but police believe they are a 52 year-old man from the Leeds area, a 44 year-old man from St Austell and a 42 year-old from woman from St Austell.
The four youngsters who were in the sea were all boys. Two were aged 18, one aged 16 and one aged 15. All four were taken to Treliske as a precaution.
It is not clear what relationship they had to the adults.
Cliff rescue teams were checking the surrounding area as light faded to ensure all casualties had been accounted for.
Superintendent Jim Pearce said: “This is a tragic incident and our condolences go out to the families of those involved.
"Along with the other emergency services we are now working to ascertain the full circumstances of this incident and our priority is to contact the families of those involved and offer all the support we can.”
A spokesperson for the coastguard said: "The Coastguard coordinated a search at Mawgan Porth near Newquay after a group of surfers got into difficulty. Three people were recovered from the sea and transferred to hospital.
"The Coastguard received multiple 999 calls from people at Mawgan Porth beach this afternoon when a group of surfers got into difficulty. The Coastguard launched a search involving Newquay and Padstow Coastguard Rescue Teams, RNLI lifeboats from Newquay and Padstow and the rescue helicopter from RNAS Culdrose. Police and South West Ambulance crew also attended.
"The group who got into difficulty consisted of seven people with boards in the water; four people were all located safe and well on shore but three adults were recovered from the water. Two of those recovered from the water were given CPR at the scene. The three casualties were transferred to hospital by the rescue helicopter from RNAS Culdrose and both the Devon and Cornwall Air Ambulances."
Local police inspector, Dave Meredith, tweeted: "Condolences from all emergency services go out to family & friends of 3 surfers who tragically died after incident at Mawgan Porth today."
Lifeguard patrols finished at Mawgan Porth at the end of September but other, more popular beaches, still have them.
Cornwall's air ambulance landed on the beach at 13.42, where two paramedics immediately started working with the casualties - seven minutes after being tasked on the way to another call out.
Chief executive of Cornwall Air Ambulance Trust Paula Martin said: "We would like to reassure everyone that our helicopter crew did everything they could to reach the three casualties as soon as possible.
"A crew of two paramedics and a pilot were in attendance at this incident.
"This is a devastating outcome, and I would like to thank our emergency crew for their efforts in responding to this incident. Our thoughts are with the families of two men and woman whose lives were lost."
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