VIDEO: Croyde lifeguards rescue 56

Joseph Bulmer

Busy day for the RNLI team as more than 2,000 head to Croyde beach

RNLI lifeguards on Croyde beach had a busy day yesterday (Monday) rescuing 56 people from strong rip currents as more than 2,000 sun seekers packed the beach.

“There were around 2,000 people on Croyde yesterday, with at least 200 bathers and a further 250 on water craft,” said Phil Hill, RNLI divisional lifeguard manager, who was involved in some of the rescues.

“This sheer volume of people coupled with a rip current between the bathing and surfing areas meant the lifeguards were kept busy assisting people in the water for most of the day.”

As the tide started dropping in the afternoon the rip became stronger and bathers and body boarders were drifting out from between the flagged area and getting taken out of their depth in the rip current.

Although not in immediate danger, they were all unable to get back to shore by themselves and the team of RNLI lifeguards which included Dean Connelly, Ben Rueth, Kathleen Spears, Ellen Raymond, Jack Hutchins and James Vallance went out on rescue boards and Rescue Water Craft to bring them safely back to shore.

Mr Hill added: “North Devon is currently hosting the Atlantic Water Sports Games, which will continue to attract crowds over the next few days so the lifeguard teams along the coast are expecting to be busy on the beaches.”