RNLI lifeguards at Perranporth rescued a novice surfer who’d become exhausted battling against the strong current on the afternoon of Sunday, August 3.
The incident comes after the RNLI lifeguards patrolling the beaches between Holywell and Porthtowan on the north Cornwall coast revealed they rescued 20 people over the last week.
On Sunday, RNLI lifeguard supervisor Ben Gardiner helmed the inshore rescue boat (IRB), along with crew RNLI lifeguard Georgia Maughn, through the breaking surf to reach the casualty, who was unable to get back to shore by himself. Ben helmed the rescue boat through the waves, having to make more than one attempt to get alongside the surfer to pick him up and bring him and his equipment safely back to shore. Footage of the incident is available here
Two more novice surfers were rescued over the weekend. On Saturday a male surfer was picked up by a lifeguard on a rescue board, and on Sunday a male surfer in his teens was also rescued by the lifeguards, he too was caught in a rip current and unable to make his way into shore. He was rescued by a lifeguard who paddled out on a rescue board.
On Thursday, July 29, two bodyboarders were rescued by the RNLI lifeguards on duty at Perranporth. RNLI lifeguards Adam Harris and Joshua Compson were training in the IRB when the situation unfolded.
They sprang into action and went to the aid of one of the bodyboarders, while fellow RNLI lifeguard Chris Flanigan used a rescue board to reach the second casualty from the shore. Both men were brought safely back to the beach where they thanked the RNLI lifeguards.
Drustan Ward, RNLI lifeguard supervisor, said: "Perranporth is one of the RNLI’s busiest beaches; last summer saw approximately 300,000 visitors, and the charity’s RNLI lifeguards dealt with 872 incidents and 972 people.
"Because of its easy access and wide expanse of sand it’s particularly popular with families, but it also attracts surfers of all abilities. However, the beach is also known for its strong rip currents which are created by the water surfing back out to sea through the deep sand banks, and can take anyone out of their depth very quickly.
"It’s really important that anyone planning to go into the water for a swim or bodyboard, stays between the red and yellow flags. This is because the lifeguards have identified this area as the safest on the beach and provide constant surveillance, so should you find yourself in difficulty, a lifeguard can respond immediately. Equally, anyone new to surfing should stay between the area marked off by the black and white flags where the lifeguards will also monitor you."
The week was equally as busy on the other beaches in the area. On Chapel Porth, the RNLI lifeguards rescued six people who had been swept out of their depth; they were bought back to shore on the lifeguard’s paddle boards. At Porthtowan a group of seven swimmers took to the water in a dangerous location, outside of the red and yellow flags. The lifeguards launched the IRB and took them back to the main beach.
On Perran Sands beach, two female bodyboarders were rescued from a rip current, while a couple of days later, a male bodyboarder was rescued from the same rip. RNLI lifeguards paddled though the surf to reach the casualties and bring them back to shore safely.