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WATCH: Rip currents 'particularly bad' in some parts of Cornwall

WATCH: Rip currents 'particularly bad' in some parts of Cornwall

Published by the Pirate FM News Team at 4:06pm 11th May 2018.

Image: RNLI

Lifeguards are urging people to be wary as some Cornish beaches see 'particularly bad' rip currents at the beginning of the summer season.

Thousands headed to beauty spots across the Duchy as scorching weather brought out beach goers over the bank holiday weekend.

But now water experts warn us to make sure we are taking precautions when heading into the sea.

Leon Bennett, lifeguard supervisor for Padstow and north Cornwall, said: "I can't speak for the rest of Cornwall, but certainly in our area they are particularly bad at the moment.

"Down at Constantine, for example.

"What defines how strong a rip current is the sandbanks beneath them usually, or the structures around them.

"The sandbanks are particularly deep at the moment there so the water is flowing particularly fast."

He says it's not something isolated to specific parts of Cornwall, though.

He said: "Rip currents are found on most beaches unfortunately.

"It's a body of water trying to find its way back out to sea and the lifeguards will do their best with their local knowledge and experience to designate a safe bathing zone, which is the red and yellow flags.

"These will be away from any rip currents, which is why it is always important to swim between the red and yellow flags."

It follows a number of rescues since RNLI cover returned to Cornish beaches for the summer, including the moment an off-duty lifeguard rescued three surfers from a rip off Treyarnon Bay.

So how can you spot a rip?



Leon said: "You can identify them in a few different ways.

"It can be a calm patch of water if you are in a surf zone, because that is actually where it is quite deep and the water is trying to find its way back out to see and the waves can't actually break.

"It can look like a stream flowing out, giving a ripply effect on the water.

"There could be debris or sticks floating out in that rip, which is another way to identify them.

"The dangers are they are often flowing out to sea and they will take you off sandbanks and out of your depth - where you don't want to be." 

The RNLI advises:

  • If you do find yourself caught in a rip current, don't panic or try to swim against it
  • Wave your arm in the air and call for help
  • If you see somebody else in trouble, don't try and help them yourself, alert the lifeguards on duty or call 999 and ask for the Coastguard

For more information click here

Leon added: "We are encouraging people to swim between the red and yellow flags as always and just to keep an eye out for anyone else who might be in difficulty.

"Alert the lifeguards if you do see someone in trouble.

"We don't advise people to go in themselves because then both of you could be in trouble.

"Call 999 and ask for the Coastguard and alert the lifeguards if possible."

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