RNLI in one of its first major rescues of the summer season as bathers and bodyboarders get caught in rip tide.

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LIFEGUARDS at Croyde sprang into action on Thursday to rescue eight adults and children from a vicious rip current.

RNLI lifeguard Gary Sinkevicius spotted several bathers and body boarders outside the red and yellow flagged bathing area at about 1pm.

He realised they were beginning to struggle in a rip and grabbed his rescue board to paddle out to them.

“I passed two adults and children who were also caught in the rip but were managing, so I went straight to a woman and two children who appeared to be in more imminent trouble and were distressed,” he said.

Gary got the two children on to his board while colleague Russell Harrison helped the mother.

They returned them to shore and headed straight back out to the other adult and children, while lifeguard Jimmy Manley assisted a seventh man and a little later Gary went back out to help an eighth.

“There was a particularly strong rip current in the middle of Croyde beach on Thursday and unfortunately these people went out of the bathing zone and got caught in it about 50 metres offshore,” said lifeguard supervisor Matthew Whitley.

“The lifeguards responded swiftly and did a great job in bringing everyone back to shore safely. The casualties were all very shaken up afterwards and grateful of our help.”

* THE RNLI has reminded anyone using the beaches this summer to follow its top five safety tips:

1. Swim at a lifeguarded beach, between the red and yellow flags.

2. Never use inflatables in strong winds or rough seas.

3. Check weather and tide times before you go.

4. If you get into trouble, stick your hand in the air and shout for help.

5. If you see someone else in trouble, tell a lifeguard. If you can’t see a lifeguard, call 999 or 112 and ask for the Coastguard.

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