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VIDEO: 21 people are caught in rip currents at Newquay beach

mass rescue at fistral beach

Published by Sarah Yeoman at 4:26pm 3rd July 2018. (Updated at 8:36am 4th July 2018)

21 people have been rescued from rip currents at Newquay's busiest beach in just one day.

RNLI lifeguards had to carry out a mass rescue on Saturday when surfers, swimmers and body boarders were all swept out to sea.

Lifeguards were patrolling the water off Fistral beach using a jet ski and rescue board when a sudden rip current opened up on the northern side of the red and yellow flags.

16 surfers, body boarders and swimmers all became trapped int he rip.

As the lifeguards were already in the water, they were able to respond as soon as they saw the strong current open up.

RNLI lifeguard supervisor Nathan Wilmer and colleague Jack Daniels used their rescue boards as flotation devices and helped swimmers hang onto the rescue boards as well as assisting body boarders hanging onto their own boards.

RNLI lifeguard Sam Harwood then used the Jet Ski to transport the casualties out of the dangerous current and back to shore.

"All together, the lifeguards rescued eight casualties and assisted a further eight.

"This was a sudden issue but thankfully we had prepared for this situation and worked really well as a team.

"To guarantee the safety of everyone in the water throughout the day the decision was made to extend the patrol of the beach until 7pm".

Nathan Wilmer

Earlier in the day, RNLI lifeguard Theresa Morokutti rescued four children and a teenager also caught in a rip current.

In the UK, the majority of RNLI lifeguard incidents involve rip currents.

The RNLI advises beachgoers to visit a lifeguarded beach and to always swim between the red and yellow flags as they mark the safest areas in the water.

"We want people to enjoy their time at the beach but to also respect the water.

"Rip currents occur very suddenly and are very dangerous.

"During this rescue we were using the PA system on our lifeguard truck to broadcast safety advice and reassure those caught in the current.

"We ask people to always listen to the lifeguards' advice.

"Please keep an ear out for any broadcasts over the PA system and keep an eye on the flags whilst in the water".

Nathan Wilmer

So how can you spot a rip?

 

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

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