Cornwall

Holidaymaker dies after three caught in Cornwall rip current

Crantock
Image caption The two other swimmers remain in hospital but are not seriously injured

A 27-year-old holidaymaker has died and two others are in hospital after being caught in a rip current off the coast of Cornwall.

The three swimmers were swept out to sea off Crantock beach, near Newquay, just before 19:30 BST on Tuesday.

They were rescued by two local surfers and airlifted to the Royal Cornwall Hospital at Treliske.

The man was pronounced dead a short time later. His family has been informed, police said.

The other two swimmers, aged 17 and 18, remain in hospital but are not believed to be seriously injured.

Image caption Crantock is known for its strong currents due to a river which runs across the beach

Leigh Hallam, who saw the rescue from Pentire Point which overlooks the beach and called 999, said he saw seven men swimming when they started getting dragged out to sea.

"Four of them scrambled on the rocks but three of them kept getting dragged out," he said.

"I was shouting to some paddleboarders and surfers to grab them and I was shouting to the three guys to swim sideways out of the rip but they were unresponsive."

An HM Coastguard Search and Rescue helicopter along with two RNLI Lifeboats and the Coastguard Rescue Team from Newquay, police and ambulance, were sent to the incident.

Image caption Two lifeguards rescued 11 bodyboarders at Crantock beach earlier this month

Crantock is known for its strong currents due to a river which runs across the beach.

On 4 August 11 bodyboarders were rescued from a strong current by RNLI lifeguards.

Image caption Crantock is on the north coast of Cornwall just outside Newquay

RNLI Lifeguard supervisor John Steadman said after that incident: "Crantock beach has some unpredictable currents at the moment due to the topography of the beach constantly changing.

"The river is still running across the length of the beach which causes lateral currents at certain stages of the tide."

Safety advice if you get caught in a rip current

  • Don't try to swim against it or you'll get exhausted.
  • If you can stand, wade don't swim.
  • If you can, swim parallel to the shore until free of the rip and then head for shore.
  • Always raise your hand and shout for help.

Source: RNLI

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