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Lifeguards save a young girl swept out to sea off a Cornish beach

Lifeguards save a young girl swept out to sea off a Cornish beach

Published by Helen Down at 7:06pm 14th July 2020. (Updated at 6:00am 15th July 2020)

A young girl who was dragged out to sea whilst swimming at Perran Sands beach has been saved.

She had been struggling to keep her head above the water when the RNLI responded to the incident on Sunday July 12.

Local lifeguards Tom McRitchie and Samson Tellam came to her aid as the young girl struggled to keep her head above the water.

Samson whistled over to the bathers who were drifting outside the red and yellow flags but noticed a young girl struggling to swim.

The young girl suddenly lost her footing due to the drop in the sand bank and began to drift rapidly when they the inshore rescue boat was launched.

RNLI lifeguard, Samson Tellam, reached for the young girl and held on to her whilst another wave broke over their heads.

Perran Sands LG Samson
Lifeguard Samson Tellam

Sam lost his footing due to the set waves causing the IRB to rock and fell out of the boat and on to the young girl and kept her head above the water.

He tried to calm her down whilst reassuring her that the boat just needed to turn around and get into a safe position to recover them.

Senior lifeguard Tom McRitchie, at the helm of the IRB, took another hit from the set waves rolling through but was then able to reverse back to Samson and the young girl.

They both climbed into the IRB and were safely returned to shore.

"With increasingly busy beaches, flash rip currents and uneven sand banks, please always swim between the red and yellow flags.

"We’d like to urge people to never enter the water alone especially young children, and please keep an eye on your family at all times, both in the water and on the beach".

Senior lifeguard Tom McRicthie

Perran Sands LG Tom
Senior lifeguard Tom McRicthie

Anyone planning a visit to the coast should remember and follow RNLI safety advice:

  • Have a plan – check the weather forecast, tide times and read local hazard signage
  • Keep a close eye on your family – on the beach and in the water
  • Do not allow your family to swim or surf alone
  • Do not use inflatables
  • If you fall into the water unexpectedly, FLOAT TO LIVE, fight your instinct to thrash around, lean back, extend your arms and legs, and FLOAT
  • In an emergency dial 999 and ask for the Coastguard

Follow the link to see which beaches are currently lifeguarded.

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