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WATCH: Mass rescues around Cornwall spark warning

porthtowan red flag

Published by Sarah Yeoman at 4:50pm 15th August 2018.

A warning goes out to Cornwall after a series of multiple mass rescues in just one day.

Rough sea conditions led to a number of beaches being red flagged for people's safety on Monday.

RNLI lifeguards at Porthtowan rescued 20 people after the combination of a flooding spring tide and big surf caused a sudden rip current.

Deshko Matthews, Emily Trestrail, Rhys Lloyd, Becky Brook, Owen Davey, Taylor Prisk and Georgia Maughn immediately got into the water and used rescue boards and rescue fins to assist them back to shore.

Ex-RNLI lifeguard Jamie Ward quickly realised the danger of the situation and used the lifeguard's PA system to communicate to and reassure beach goers.

The decision was made to red flag the beach around 2pm for the remainder of the day due to the conditions and the lifeguards on duty explained to beach goers the dangers of the conditions.

Later in the day, two body surfers did not heed the lifeguards' warning and entered the water.

The lifeguards on duty kept an eye on them as they swam out from the shore, where they were quickly buffeted around by the strong surf.

The team immediately responded using the inshore rescue boat and rescue boards and assisted the casualties back to shore.

There were similar conditions at nearby Perran Sands beach.

RNLI lifeguards Rachel Crabb, Max Lawrence and Samson Tellam were on patrol at the water's edge when they noticed two young girls become caught in a sudden rip current.

Samson immediately paddled over to them using a rescue board and reached them when they were around 25m out to sea.

He helped the girls stay afloat until Rachel and Max reached them in the IRB by which time they had drifted another 50m out to sea due to the strength of the rip current.

The lifeguards then helped the two girls into the IRB and back to shore.

The bad conditions along with multiple casualty care incidents on the beach meant that RNLI lifeguards at Perran Sands and neighbouring Perranporth red flagged the beach from around 2pm until 4.30pm Monday afternoon.

The bad conditions also led to a number of rescues at Treyarnon and Constantine beaches at the start of the week.

Two bodyboarders at Treyarnon were being pulled out of their depth toward rocks when they were assisted by RNLI lifeguards Issy Barnes and Jordan Dean.

At Constantine, RNLI lifeguard Joe Jones helped an exhausted young girl back to shore again having been caught in a rip current.

"Having had the beautiful weather and very calm seas over the last couple of months, the change in sea conditions has caught people unawares along the north coast.

"We do not take the decision to display the red flags lightly but conditions on the day meant this was the only option for people's safety.

"If you are visiting the coast we urge you to always come to a lifeguarded beach and remember to keep an eye on the flags as weather and tide conditions can easily and quickly change.

"The lifeguards on duty are experienced, extremely well-trained and familiar with their local area so please listen to the advice they give."

Steve Instance, RNLI Community Safety Partner

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