Busy Sunday for RNLI teams as August hots up.
BIG waves and warm weather has produced another busy day for RNLI lifeguards at Croyde, with 36 people rescued from rip currents yesterday (Sunday).
Many water users were caught unawares by the unpredictable currents, with the seven strong lifeguard team called upon again and again as crowds of beach visitors took to the water.
Rescues included an entire family of six - the two adults, three teenage girls and a boy, had been pulled away from the beach by a powerful sea and were struggling in the conditions, having swallowed a great deal of water.
Lifeguards James Vallance, Freddy Hedger and supervisor Matt Whitley paddled the casualties back to shore where they were checked by paramedics but did not need further medical treatment.
“There was huge surf at Croyde yesterday, with very powerful waves creating strong rip currents outside the red-and-yellow flagged bathing area,” said senior RNLI lifeguard Russell Harrison.
“We’ve seen a huge number of people on the beach and the conditions meant we’ve carried out many rescues.”
On Tuesday the Croyde lifeguards rescued rescue 30 from rip currents in a single day, including four adults and four children in one go.
In total that day, the patrol dealt with more than 40 incidents, including a girl aged around 12-years-old who suffered a suspected spinal injury while body boarding and a 59-year-old man who had stepping on a large fish hook.
An RNLI spokesperson said it had been one of the busiest weeks ever at Croyde.
If stuck in a rip current:
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.