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Girl wins award after helping save two teens from rip

Girl wins award after helping save two teens from rip

Published by Sarah Yeoman at 1:41pm 6th February 2020. (Updated at 10:21am 7th February 2020)

A 12-year-old girl from Cornwall has been given an award after helping to save two boys from being swept out to sea.

Brooke Instance spotted the pair in trouble in a rip current at St Agnes back in May 2018.

Her dad and off-duty lifeguard, Steve, leapt into action at Trevaunance Cove over the weekend.

He raised the alarm and paddled out to keep the teens afloat, before the lifeboat arrived.

Now Brooke and her family have met the crew of St. Agnes Lifeboat at the station, where Lifeboat Operations Manager, Paul Kimberley, handed over a Certificate and Statuette, from the RNLI Chief Executive.

"Brooke thoroughly deserves this award. If it had not been for her decisive action, the incident might have ended very differently. But thanks to the quick thinking of this young lady and the combined efforts of an RNLI Lifeguard and Lifeboat crew, two lives were saved."

Paul Kimberley, Lifeboat Operations Manager

Brooke, who has been training in life saving techniques since she was just 7, believes it was her experience at St. Agnes Surf Life Saving Club that helped her spot the boys were in difficulty.

Brooke Instance - RNLI award
The RNLI Chairpersons Certificate presented to Brooke

What happened that day?

The two teenagers, who were wearing wetsuits, had gone into the water swimming.

Brooke, who was 11 at the time, spotted the boys being dragged out to sea and her life saving training kicked in. The teenage boys were caught in a notorious rip current off Trevaunance Cove. 

She quickly alerted her father, Steve, who is a trained and experienced RNLI Lifeguard and Manager. 

He alerted the RNLI Lifeboat Team, and then he entered the water, with a rescue board, to make his way to the casualties.

The St. Agnes RNLI Lifeboat was launched and proceeded towards Steve and the casualties to assist. 

Two boys were recovered into the Lifeboat, and taken back to the shore, shaken and cold but otherwise unharmed, and Steve paddled back in.

Brooke Instance - RNLI award
The engraved RNLI Statuette presented to Brooke

What is a rip current?

A rip current occurs when water brought onto shore as surf runs back out to sea like an invisible river. They can be hard to spot. 

If you get caught in a rip current the RNLI advises 'Float to Survive'. 

This means you should fight your instincts to swim against the current. Instead, do not panic, float on your back and if possible, wave your arm and shout to attract attention. 

You may be able to swim out of the rip by heading parallel to the shore. 

If in doubt, remain calm, get your breathing under control, float on your back and wave your arm to attract help.

Brooke Instance - RNLI award
Brooke with her Certificate and Statuette, at the St.Agnes RNLI Lifeboat Station

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