A SEVEN-YEAR-OLD boy pulled from the sea barely alive by his father has been taken to the Royal Cornwall Hospital over fears of secondary drowning.

Andy Thomas, RNLI Lifeguard Supervisor said the boy was lucky to be alive following the incident at Towan Beach, Newquay yesterday morning.

‘That young boy was very lucky, in my experience he was very close to drowning. Our beaches have been extremely busy over the half-term week with RNLI lifeguards carrying out multiple rescues and delivering first aid. The beach can be an unpredictable environment and this is why we would urge anyone visiting the coast to head to a lifeguarded beach and swim between the red and yellow flags.’

A member of the public alerted the lifeguards after witnessing a man pull his son from the water in a part of the beach out of sight from the lifeguards.

Responding immediately, RNLI lifeguard Sonny Timson along with Lifeguard Supervisors Andy Thomas and John Steadman were quick to arrive on scene and assess the casualty, who was struggling to breath and in-and-out of conscioussness.

An ambulance was called whilst the lifeguards began treatment and the air-ambulance was soon to arrive. The lifeguards had managed to stabalise the casualty by administering oxygen, monitoring his breathing and going through their casualty-care training. A land ambulance arrived shortly after and the air ambulance was stood down. The boy was taken to hospital with his father due to the risk of secondary drowning.

Across Newquay RNLI lifeguards have been kept busy with a number of incidents at Crantock and Watergate Bay. A young female who was playing on the sand dunes broke her left femur whilst running down one of the dunes. She was treated by the lifeguards, Coastguard and air-ambulance paramedics who airlifted her from the beach where she was taken to Treslike hospital.

Between Tuesday, May 30 – Wednesday, June 2 there were 12 board rescues at Crantock. Two children were rescued from the River Gannel and ten people were rescued at the main beach due to rip currents.

At Watergate Bay there were also a number of board rescues due to rip currents and tidal cut off, as well as some first aid incidents including a man suffering from severe chest pains who was treated by the RNLI lifeguards and handed over to paramedics.

RNLI Lifeguard Supervisor, John Steadman says, ‘Rip currents are one of the biggest dangers on our beaches. If you find yourself caught in a rip current, try to stay calm. Remember float to live, lie back with your arms and legs stretched out, this will allow you to regulate your breathing and give you a chance to think of your next move.

If you can, always raise your arm and shout for help. Do not try to swim against the rip current or you’ll get exhausted, instead, swim parrallell to the beach until you a free from the current. If you see somebody in trouble around the coast alert the lifeguards or dial 999 and ask for the Coastguard.’