A swimmer has told of the "very scary" moment he became caught in a rip tide and was dunked again and again under the waves before a surfer came to his aid.

Ben Symes now wants to warn others about the dangers and remind people of how to stay calm in such a situation, saying: "If I hadn’t known a little of what to do it would probably have been all over."

Ben was with his family at Poldhu on Tuesday when he decided to go for a quick dip and "in seconds" found himself caught in a strong rip.

Describing the moment as "scary; very scary", Ben said: "I went for a quick skins swim today at Poldhu. It was a bit choppy and it felt a bit sketchy - I had a funny feeling. Trust your intuition!

"But I dismissed it as I was close to shore and wasn’t going to go in for long. Then, suddenly and in seconds, I felt myself caught in a strong rip current and it took me out very very quickly into some big waves.

"It became incredibly tiring to try to swim towards shore. I knew instantly I was in trouble as I felt my feet brushing across the rocks just beyond my depth."

He said that he started to "feel myself panicking," as he became dunked by the rip pushing him against the waves rolling in, but tried to follow the advice given by the RNLI for anyone finding themselves in that situation. Ben immediately waved and shouted to shore for help, tried to relax and slow down, and began swimming parallel to the shore.

Thankfully surf instruction Dan Joel, who runs a surf school from the beach, saw him struggling in the water and immediately went out to him on his board.

The coastguard had been called by people watching from the beach, but Joel and Ben had reached the beach in safety before they arrived.

Ben added: "It is not often the case I’m afraid. I was amazed how quick they got there but I couldn’t have relied on that in those conditions.

"I feel pretty shaken as I reflect back now. That evening might have been a very different one for my family."

He urged everyone to remind themselves of the ways to help themselves survive in that situation, and said: "I never thought it would be me. And then it was. And it wasn’t nice.

"But if I hadn’t known a little of what to do it would probably have been all over."

Mullion Coastguard Rescue Team said members were paged at 2.23pm on Tuesday, following several 999 calls about a man who had been caught in a rip current at Poldhu.

"The casualty did the right thing swimming across the rip until he was rescued by Dan Joel Surf School and brought to safety.

"The team offered words of advice and remained on scene to ensure no one else found themselves in difficulty," added a spokesperson.

The RNLI advises anyone caught in a rip current:

- Don’t try to swim against it or you’ll 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.

- Always raise your hand and shout for help.

You can read more advice at rnli.org/safety/know-the-risks/rip-currents