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Lifeguards rescue 30 in one day

PUBLISHED: 16:57 17 August 2012

Archant

RNLI lifeguards at Croyde have one of their busiest days of the summer so far, rescuing 30 from rip tides and dealing with more than 40 incidents.

A HECTIC day for Croyde beach RNLI lifeguards on Tuesday saw them called on to rescue 30 from dangerous rip currents.

Just 25 minutes into their morning patrol the first few rescues took place, assisting several people from a current in the middle of the beach at low tide and this theme continued throughout the day.

Then at about 2.45pm there was a more serious incident as eight people, including four children, were pulled away from the beach by a strong current near rocks at its northern end.

Lifeguards Kathleen Speares, Andrew Cotton, James Vallance and Tom Greenall were straight into the water, using a rescue board, tube and rescue water craft, leaving Russell Harrison and Mark McKellar to continue patrolling the shore.

They were able to reach the casualties and bring them back to shore, where lifeguards set about giving treatment to those who had for inhaled seawater and were in shock.

In total, the patrol dealt with more than 40 incidents, including a suspected spinal injury on the beach to a young girl, aged around 12-years-old, while body boarding. She had walked to the RNLI lifeguard patrol truck, but was suffering from shock and neck pain, so was put on to a spinal board as a precaution and transferred to hospital by South Western Ambulance Service paramedics.

A 59-year-old man also approached lifeguards after he’d stepping on a large fishing hook in the water. The hook was stuck deep into his foot, so lifeguards called for an ambulance and paramedics transferred him to hospital for further treatment.

“The large crowds meant there was plenty of activity for the RNLI lifeguard team and they dealt with the challenges of the day extremely well and in a professional manner,” said Phil Hill, RNLI divisional lifeguard manager.

“Rip currents occur on most beaches around the South West and can be very dangerous; especially for people who have never experienced being caught in one before, as they panic and become exhausted quickly.”

If stuck in a rip:

1. Stay calm and don’t panic.

2. If you can stand, wade but don’t swim.

3. Keep hold of your board or inflatable to help you float.

4. Raise your hand and shout for help.

5. Never try to swim directly against the rip or you’ll become exhausted.

6. Swim parallel to the beach until free of the rip, then make for shore.

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

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