Parents are being warned to take extra care of their families on beaches across Cornwall this summer to avoid deadly rip currents.

With many families choosing to staycation in the county, the RNLI and HM Coastguard are urging every parent to be aware of the potential dangers when visiting the coast.

On Thursday, July 30 on Fistral beach in Newquay alone, there were 19 rescues and 11 assists - all in rip-related incidents.

On Tuesday, July 28 at Holywell Bay a ‘flash’ rip current suddenly materialised just outside of the red and yellow flags, endangering the lives of two young bodyboarders.

During a regular training exercise, trainer assessor Matt Trewhella and RNLI lifeguard Ivan Ellis noticed that a sudden ‘flash’ rip current had formed, putting two young boys in serious difficulty.

Due to the high number of bathers in the water, it was difficult to get through the crowds on the inshore rescue boat (IRB) so RNLI lifeguard Jago Griffith paddled out to assist the IRB and together they rescued the young boys.

Jago and Ivan had just returned to shore when Matt and Ivan then spotted two more bathers being taken out to sea in the same rip current.

They were both safely rescued.

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Steve Instance, RNLI water safety lead for the south west said: "Our coastline is a fantastic place to spend time together as a family but there are also plenty of potential dangers, especially for those who aren’t fully aware of their surroundings.

"The main one is rip currents which cause most incidents in the water that RNLI lifeguards deal within the UK.

"We are seeing a spike in incidents this summer involving these potentially deadly currents, which move even faster than an Olympic swimmer and can quickly drag people into deep water a long way from the shore.

"It’s important that anybody venturing in or near the sea knows, not just what rip currents are, but how to react if they are caught in one or see someone else in trouble.

"They are difficult to spot and even the most experienced and strongest swimmers can find themselves caught out so it’s important where possible to use beaches that have lifeguards patrolling on them.’

Last year, RNLI lifeguards dealt with more than 1,500 incidents involving rip currents, saving the lives of 95 people caught in them.

If you find yourself caught in a rip current, try to remember the following key safety advice:

• Don’t try to swim against it, you will quickly get exhausted

• If you can stand, wade don’t swim

• If you can, swim parallel to the shore until free of the rip and then head for shore

• If you can’t swim – float to live by leaning back in the water, extending your arms and legs, and resisting the urge to thrash around to gain control of your breathing

• Always raise your hand and shout for help

• If you see anyone else in trouble, alert the lifeguards or call 999 or 112 and ask for the coastguard