Mass rescue operation at UK beach as 10 swimmers caught in wild rip current

A mass rescue operation has taken place at a British beach after 10 people were dragged out to sea.

The scary moment happened at Fistral beach in Newquay, when the group were caught in a strong rip current.

And days later, eight children also had to be rescued in separate incidents on the same beach, as well as one other adult swimming.

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They were all rescued by RNLI lifeguards during a hectic period, Cornwall Live reports.

The mass rescue took place on July 25, and involved nine bodyboarders and one swimmer being swept out around 75 metres into the sea.

Having been rescued, it then promoted the rescue charity to temporarily ban swimmers from getting in the water.

No details were given about the eight separate child-related incidents.

The spate of incidents has now sparked a serious warning from the RNLI to those wanting to swim in open waters.

Senior RNLI lifeguard Arron Evans said: “This was a mass rescue which involved two of our lifeguards going back and forth on rescue boards and RNLI lifeguard Angel Daimay also supporting them on the shoreline – it was an amazing team effort in challenging sea conditions.

“These conditions prove just how powerful rip currents can be and how suddenly the sea state can change. As professional lifeguards, we have the local knowledge of rip currents and areas that are renowned for being dangerous so we always prepare and assess according to the conditions which constantly change throughout the day.

“During a mass rescue, it’s so important to keep an eye on the wider picture so immediately after this incident we made the decision to red flag the entire beach and reassess the sea conditions.

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“After careful consideration we decided to open a small bathing area so we could keep a condensed vision and advise anybody who entered the water to remain at waist-depth and keep a close eye on whoever they were in the water with.”

Fistral RNLI lifeguards also rescued an experienced surfer on Sunday (July 31) after he suddenly passed out while surfing.

The issue was down to low blood sugar levels, and was found lying down hugging his surfboard as a floatation device.

Arron added: "The sea state can change very quickly and if you find yourself suddenly caught in a rip current it’s important to follow this simple safety advice. Swim parallel to the shore until free of the rip and then head for shore, do not try to swim against the rip current or you’ll get exhausted and always raise your hand and shout for help."

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