Gwithian RNLI lifeguards rescue family of five

Still from GoPro footage of rescue of family of five by Gwithian RNLI lifeguards last Wednesday. Image: RNLI.

Tuesday 7th August 2018 23:13 BST

RNLI lifeguards at Gwithian rescued a family of five caught in a rip current last week.

Due to the large six-feet high surf and strong southerly winds, RNLI lifeguard Andrea Harvey was already on patrol on a rescue board when she spotted the family in difficulty last Wednesday.

They had become caught in a sudden rip current that had opened up and were being swept out to sea to the south of the red and yellow flags.

RNLI lifeguard supervisor Ollie Shilston who was observing from the lifeguard unit at the top of the cliff had already noticed the family in difficulty and ran down to the beach to assist Andrea.

By the time Ollie reached the scene, the one adult and four children were clinging to Andrea’s rescue board in an attempt to stay afloat.

Ollie assisted one child back to shore using a rescue tube whilst Andrea and colleague Anya Piotrowicz helped the remaining four casualties ashore using the rescue boards. RNLI lifeguard Barney Stevens also assisted in the rescue using the personal watercraft.

Ollie said: “This was a tricky situation for the family to find themselves in and we have been experiencing lots of rip currents in this area and around the whole region.

“We advise anyone caught in a rip current to don’t try to swim against it or you’ll quickly become exhausted. If you have a bodyboard or some form of floatation device with you, keep hold of it and use it to keep you afloat. Raise your hand and shout for help to attract the lifeguards’ attention.”

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