RNLI lifeguards have been busy since returning to the region’s busiest beaches for the Easter school holidays.
Plenty of beachgoers took advantage of the RNLI lifeguard service offered across a number of beaches in Cornwall and Devon.
With around half of those who die at the coast finding themselves in the water unexpectedly lifeguards are highly trained and on hand to offer key safety advice to visitors to the coast.
In the last two weeks lifeguards in Cornwall have rescued several people in danger of getting cut off by the incoming tide and at Perranporth reunited a missing six year old girl with her parents.
Many braved the seasonally cold water for a swim or surf and three teenagers were among those helped by lifeguards at Perranporth. The lifeguards used their inshore rescue boat to return the girls safely to shore after they got caught in a flash rip current.
At nearby Porthtowan a swimmer was rescued by a lifeguard on a paddleboard after struggling to swim back to shore.
In Devon lifeguards at Bantham came to the aid of a sailor whose boat ran aground on a sandbank.
Lifeguard Supervisor Chris Rampling says: ‘The beach has been busy with plenty of people making the most of the holidays and the good surf. Our lifeguards have been busy, coming to the aid of five kite surfers who found themselves in difficulty as well as surfers who got caught in the rip area of Bantham.’
‘Senior lifeguard Alex Tucker also performed an off-duty rescue of a swimmer who had got into trouble after trying to help a kite surfer who’d lowered his kite down near some rocks.’
RNLI lifeguards across the south west are dedicated to providing a professional rescue service to those who need it and last year, dealt with 7,962 incidents, assisting 10,080 people.
The RNLI has been supporting local volunteer patrols by St Agnes Surf Life Saving Club. At around 2pm on Sunday 15 April the volunteers assisted in the rescue of three swimmers caught in a rip current at St Agnes. The three swimmers had been pulled out of their depth and were brought back to shore with the help of surfers and local lifesaving volunteers.
With the end of the Easter break Fistral, Sennen and Portmeor in Cornwall will have full time lifeguard cover until October along with Croyde in North Devon.
A further sixteen beaches across the south west region will continue to be patrolled by RNLI lifeguards on weekends throughout April until the season starts on 5 May.
To find details of your nearest lifeguarded beach visit rnli.org/find-my-nearest/lifeguarded-beaches
If you see someone in trouble, alert the lifeguards or call 999 (or 112) and ask for the Coastguard. Do not enter the water yourself.
To find out how you can stay safe while enjoying your water activity, visit RespectTheWater.com
Weekend lifeguard cover until 5 May when full time lifeguard cover resumes until October: Praa Sands, Hayle Towans, Gwithian, Porthtowan, Perranporth, Towan, Mawgan Porth, Watergate Bay, Harlyn, Constantine, Polzeath, Widemouth and Summerleaze in Cornwall and Woolacombe, and Bantham in Devon.