VIDEO: Croyde RNLI lifeguards pluck 24 from deadly rip currents.
LIFEGUARDS at Croyde beach rescued 24 people on Tuesday of last week after bathers and body boarders were caught in strong rip currents.
The casualties, who included children, were dragged away from the beach and unable to make it back to shore in the conditions.
RNLI lifeguards carried out several rescues throughout the day as people struggled in the conditions, and then just before 4pm, lifeguards were alerted to 11 people who had all got caught in the rip conditions.
Lifeguards James Vallance, Russell Harrison Kathleen Spears, Jack Hutchins, Andrew Cotton and Mark McKellar worked together to rescue the casualties throughout the day whilst maintaining patrols on the beach.
“The beach was extremely busy and the conditions outside the red and yellow flagged bathing area meant people were getting caught in the rip current and very quickly being dragged out of their depth,” said Russell.
“The lifeguard team worked together to ensure everybody was returned to shore swiftly.”
Phil Hill, RNLI divisional lifeguard manager, added: “We’ve seen some perfect sunshine in the south west this week and as a result thousands of people have headed to the beach to make the most of the late arrival of summer.
“With that, lifeguards across the region have been kept very busy dealing with numerous incidents with everything from minor first aids and weaver fish stings, to rescuing people from rip currents and cut off by the tide, and providing emergency lifesaving first aid.”
* CLICK above to see a video of Tuesday’s rescue.
With the school summer holidays well underway, the RNLI is encouraging people to choose a lifeguarded beach when they head to the coast and follow its top tips on how to stay safe:
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.