A dad who helped save the lives of six people by pulling them from the water after they were knocked from rocks by a wave has described as "the worst thing I've lived".

Kevin Viles, a businessman from Blackwater, was walking with his family at Godrevy Point, near Gwithian when he spotted a group struggling in the sea, writes John Bett, SWNS.

He sprung into action and successfully rescued six members of the same family - including young children - who had been swept away by a huge swell.

Kevin managed to pull them from the water and helped to resuscitate one of them before the emergency services arrived.

Recalling the incident, Kevin, 44, said he couldn't believe they all got out alive.

He said: "It's all been a bit overwhelming, it was the worst thing I've lived.

"We were walking when my partner Lisa ran up to me and said, 'There are people in the water'.

Falmouth Packet:

Kevin Viles and his partner Lisa. Photo: Viles family/SWNS

"All six were in at different depths and two looked like they were drowning.

"There was a boy and a girl, around six or eight years old, and they were being tossed around in the waves."

Kevin said he was sure that some of the family were going to die, and that he can't remember how he saved them.

He added: "It was crazy. I can't believe they are still alive."

Kevin said he passed those he rescued to his own family members who helped them up the steps.

During the rescue, his partner, 37-year-old Lisa, alerted the coastguard.

A large rescue operation was launched and a lifeboat, ambulances and the coastguard helicopter all attended.

HM Coastguard confirmed that multiple people ended up in the water at around 2.45pm on Wednesday.

A spokesperson said: "At 2.45pm HM Coastguard received a report of multiple people, confirmed to be nine in total (adults and children), in potential difficulty in the sea water at Godrevy, on the eastern side of St Ives Bay, Cornwall.

Read next: RNLI renews warning as huge waves continue to batter beaches in Cornwall

"The St Ives RNLI all-weather lifeboat, the HM Coastguard search and rescue helicopter from Newquay and the Portreath Coastguard Rescue Team, along with the South Western Ambulance Service, attended the scene. Lifeguards from Gwithian also assisted in the search and rescue response.

"All persons were safely recovered, with assistance from a member of the public, and some were later passed into the care of the ambulance service for onward care to the Royal Cornwall Hospital, via air ambulance, land ambulance and coastguard helicopter."

The news was shared on Facebook by St Ives Lifeboat, who also confirmed multiple people were in danger.

They wrote: "The coastguard had a report of a family being swept into the water.

"With a large swell the crew made their way to Godrevy.

"The family had been on the rocks and with the sea conditions as they were, they'd been swept into the sea.

"In this instance everyone luckily made it out and were received immediately by the waiting ambulance.

"At this point the crew were stood down and they made their way back to the station."

Read next: Danger and power of the sea captured on camera by wave watchers

The Portreath Coastguard Rescue team praised the work of all involved, saying: "A special thanks should go to Kevin Viles and his family for their quick actions and bravery in assisting the casualties to safety.

"Sea conditions will be extremely dangerous with huge waves, strong rip currents and increased tidal surges. Avoid the water during storms and never enter the water if the red flag is flying – even the most experienced can get caught.

"Don’t take the risk and pay with your life, Stay away from exposed beaches, cliffs, coastal paths, promenades and harbours.

"Do not go near large waves – waves can be unpredictable and even a lapse in judgement for just one moment, to get the perfect storm picture, could see you dragged out to sea."

  • If you see anyone in difficulty on the coast, or need help yourself, call 999 and ask for the Coastguard.