Lifeguards rescue 30 people from dangerous rip tide in Devon

Lifeguards rescue 30 people from dangerous rip tide in DevonStock photo, Croyde Beach: PA

Thirty holidaymakers had to be rescued by lifeguards after getting stuck in a strong rip current at Croyde Beach in Devon on Tuesday.

Lifeguards were just 25 minutes into their morning shift when they rescued several people from the dangerous current in the middle of the beach at low tide.

At 2.45pm, four children and four adults were seen struggling to stay afloat, and were being dragged near the rocks at the northern end of the beach.

RNLI lifeguards used a rescue board, rescue tube, and rescue water craft to bring the casualties back to the shore, where they were treated for shock.

Phil Hill, RNLI Divisional Lifeguard Manager, told This Is North Devon: 'It was a very busy day on the beach on Tuesday due to the warm sunny weather and a three-foot swell.

"The large crowds of people meant there was plenty of activity for the RNLI lifeguard team and they dealt with the challenges of the day extremely well and in a professional manner.

"Rip currents occur on most beaches around the South West and can be very dangerous; especially for people who have never experienced being caught in one before as they panic and become exhausted quickly."

But the rip tide wasn't the only thing causing problems; in total, the lifeguards dealt with 40 incidents that day, including a man who got a large fishing hook stuck in his foot, and a suspected spinal injury on the beach.

Meanwhile, RNLI have warned against the dangers of swimming away from lifeguarded areas after a young girl was dragged out to sea on the South Devon coast.

The nine-year-old girl was seen seen about 150 metres out to sea, being dragged away from the beach at Blackpool Sands near Dartmouth.

The girl was safely brought back to the shore where she was given oxygen and was in shock.

RNLI lifeguard supervisor Liam Krige told This Is South Devon: "This incident is a good example of why our advice to families is to visit a lifeguarded beach as our trained lifesavers were there and able to help this young girl."

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