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WATCH: Three rescues at Porthowan in one day

summer porthtowan sophie juleff
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4:17pm 16th May 2018

A warning about rip currents is going out to Cornwall after three rescues at Porthtowan in one day.

The RNLI was scrambled to help a swimmer and a surfer who both got into difficulties out of their depth.

A boat also rushed to help a man and a dog who got cut off by the tide on Tuesday.

Now we are being urged to check tide tides and stay safe on the coast.

RNLI lifeguard spokesperson Sam Chamberlain told Pirate FM: "Mainly because of our big tides, we've got spring tides at the moment, and that causes a lot of rip currents on the north coast.

"One swimmer that lifeguards had to assist with got out of their depth in a rip current, and also a surfer who got into difficulties.

"Also because our big tides are pushing really fast, and we're looking out for tidal cut offs, so the rescue boat had to get launched to help a man and a dog who were in difficulty, but they got them back to safety unharmed."

So how can you spot a rip?


Leon Bennett, lifeguard supervisor for Padstow and north Cornwall, 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."

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:"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."

Find more information on Pirate FM's 'Coast to Coast' page.

4:17pm 16th May 2018

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