Croyde lifeguards rescue eight people from rip current

RNLI lifeguards patrolling Croyde rescued eight people yesterday afternoon (Thursday 19 July) after the bathers and bodyboarders were caught in an extremely strong rip current. The group, which included children, were extremely frightened and shocked at the strength of the current and couldn’t get back to shore. Lifeguards on duty were alerted to the incident at approximately 1pm when the tide was at its lowest point of the day. RNLI lifeguard Gary Sinkevicius was on patrol at the shoreline when he noticed some people go outside of the red and yellow flagged bathing area and begin to struggle in a rip current. He responded immediately on a rescue board and paddled out to the scene. He said:
“I passed two adults and children who were also caught in the rip current but were managing so I went straight to a woman and two children who appeared to be in more imminent trouble and were distressed. I took the two children on the board while lifeguard Russell Harrison, who had paddled out on a rescue board to assist, helped the mother. We paddled them to shore and headed straight back out to the scene to help others. In that time lifeguard Jimmy Manley had also helped a man from the rip current and brought him back to shore. Russell and I went back out to two children and an adult and brought them back to the beach. About 30 minutes later I went back out into the water to rescue another man who was struggling.”
RNLI lifeguard supervisor Matthew Whitley, said:
“There was a particularly strong rip current in the middle of Croyde beach yesterday, and unfortunately these people went outside of the bathing zone and got caught in it about 50 metres offshore. The lifeguards responded swiftly to the situation 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. With school summer holidays upon us, and the weather forecast set to improve, the RNLI is offering the following top five beach safety tips to help people remember their seaside trips for the right reasons”.
RNLI’s beach 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.
For further information on Rip Currents go to the RNLI website…