RNLI lifeguards are issuing safety warnings to be aware of the dangers of rip currents after a number of incidents in Cornwall over the weekend.

On Saturday (July 6), six people caught in a rip current at Watergate Bay near Newquay had to be rescued.

The incident happened at around 2pm, conditions were difficult with big surf creating lots of water movement. RNLI lifeguards on duty at Watergate Bay noticed that a family of four were in difficulty after a wave took them out of their depth.

The lifeguards immediately responded, entering the water on rescue boards and securing the casualties. They were returned to shore safely and lifeguards carried out casualty care checks. While they were recovering on the beach, one of the casualties became ill, so paramedics were called, and the casualty was taken to hospital for further assessment.

At the same time as this rescue taking place, two other people were spotted struggling in the same strong rip current. Other lifeguards in the team responded with a rescue tube, bringing them back to shore.

Elsewhere, also on Saturday, at Crantock beach, RNLI lifeguards worked with Newquay RNLIs volunteer lifeboat crew to rescue two kayakers who had got into trouble off Pentire Headland.

RNLI lifeguards at Crantock had spotted two people getting into the water at West Pentire, the left side of the beach, on an inflatable kayak and soon they got into difficulty drifting towards rocks.

RNLI lifeguards launched the Rescue Water Craft (RWC) from Crantock and contacted Falmouth coastguard for assistance who tasked Newquay Lifeboat to help with the rescue.

When the lifeguards arrived one person was still on the kayak the other was in the water next to the rocks swimming back towards it. The lifeguards supported them as they tried to paddle their kayak to safety but they were drifting back towards the rocks, so the lifeguards got them both on to the RWC and abandoned the kayak.

With the waves breaking against the rocks, it was unsafe to take them back to shore so, working with their lifeboat colleagues, the RNLI lifeguards brought them to safer water, where they could be handed over into the care of Newquay RNLI.

Newquay RNLI returned kayakers back to the lifeboat station where they were monitored before being released.

RNLI Lead Lifeguard Supervisor for Newquay, Lewis Timson, said: ‘I’d like to commend our lifeguards at both Watergate and Crantock who did great work to respond quickly and efficiently to rescue several people who had got into difficulty in strong conditions.

‘The incidents are reminders to people of the dangers of the coast. If you do find yourself in a rip current, remember to swim parallel to the shore until free of the rip current, don’t fight against it.

‘If you’re coming to the beach this summer, please swim between the red and yellow flags. If you get into difficulty, stay calm and float to live - fight your instinct to thrash around, lean back, with your ears submerged in the water, extend your arms and legs, and float.’

The RNLI is reminding people to be aware of rip currents and what to do if you find yourself in one.

The advice is:

- 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