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Surfer lucky RNLI lifeguards arrived at work early
8:00am Tuesday 20th August 2013 in News
A surfer on Perranporth beach on Sunday morning can thank his klucky stars that the RNLI lifeguards were at work early.
The surfer wase close to exhaustion when RNLI lifeguards Robin Howell and Sam Chamberlain reached him, but had they arrived at work on time, they would have certainly been too late to help him.
The early morning rescue was just the first of the rescues that day, with RNLI lifeguards also rescuing two young bodyboarders who were caught in the dangerous currents in the area known as The Gap at around 9.45am on Sunday morning.
A spokesman said that the tide was flooding in and four to five foot surf with a cross shore wind was making the conditions very difficult. RNLI lifeguards Robin Howell and Sam Chamberlain had arrived at the beach early and were scanning the water’s edge for the safest area to place the bathing flags when they noticed a group of about four people bodyboarding near a rip current.
As they headed over to advise the bodyboarders of the conditions, they noticed two surfers caught further out in the rip current and immediately grabbed the rescue boards and started running towards the sea.
As they paddled past the bodyboarders they explained the best way to paddle out of a rip current, and confident that they would make it to shore by themselves, continued to help the surfers. Meanwhile, one of the surfers had discarded his surfboard in an attempt to swim to shore and was struggling to stay afloat.
Sam says; ‘He had a look of fear on his face, so I grabbed his surfboard and shouted to him to hold on to it. He was short of breath and coughing and the waves were washing him around. I helped him get on his board and pushed him onto an oncoming wave which took him about 15 metres towards the shore. I did the same again until he reached the beach.
"He was in a state of shock but very thankful. Robin had bought the other person to safety and returned to help me. Had we been any later, I am not sure how long he would have been able to last, the conditions were really difficult.
If you get caught in a rip current, it’s very important to keep hold of your surf or bodyboard which is your floatation device. It gives you something to rest on while you wave your hand in the air and call for help.’
At around 4pm the same day, a brother and sister had entered the water in the area between Chapel Rock and the cliff. They were quickly caught up in the strong currents and being taken out of their depth and out to sea. RNLI lifeguards Adam Garland and Georgia Maughan saw the incident unfold and launched the inshore rescue boat (IRB), driving though the surf to reach the pair.
They swiftly picked them up, taking them back to shore safely where they were met by their parents.
Simon Peppler, RNLI lifeguard supervisor said: "The pair were bodyboarding in an area which is known for its dangerous currents and had walked past the signs warning them.
"We’d advise anyone wanting to swim or bodyboard to go between the red and yellow flags, the area which has been identified by the RNLI lifeguards as the safest on the beach. It is also the area which is patrolled by the lifeguards and should you get into difficulty they can respond immediately."
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