Gower and Shell Island: Coastguards' rip tides warning

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Coastguards are urging people to be aware of rip currents after incidents at beaches in north and south Wales.

Horton RNLI inshore lifeboat was called out twice at Three Cliffs Bay, Gower, Swansea, after reports of first two and, later, three people in difficulty.

At Shell Island, near Llanbedr, Gwynedd, a young child in a rubber ring was swept away and family members were cut by sharp rocks rescuing them.

Coastguards said people should swim at a life-guarded beach.

None of the people in the alerts needed medical attention.

The call-outs in Three Cliffs Bay led to the RAF search and rescue helicopter from Chivenor, Devon, being sent to the scene as well as Oxwich coastguard rescue team.

Start Quote

Even though the sea may look calm on the surface, there is the danger of rip tides or strong currents underneath”

End Quote David Jones Swansea coastguard

Later at Shell Island, six teenagers and young adults were swept out from the shore just after 16:00 BST.

Criccieth RNLI inshore lifeboat went to the scene as well as the RAF rescue helicopter from RAF Valley and Harlech and Barmouth coastguard rescue teams.

The youngsters were rescued before the helicopter arrived and nobody needed medical attention.

Holyhead coastguards said an officer who lives and works in the area had said he had "never seen a tide like it".

He said the rip tide had caught a lot of people out and there was some concern that people were still prepared to go into the sea when it was clear the conditions were dangerous.

Swansea coastguards said a woman had been airlifted to hospital by the air ambulance from Three Cliffs Bay earlier in the day.

'Warning signs'

A spokesman said they were told by the ambulance service a woman had been pulled from the water.

Watch manger David Jones said it was not yet clear if that incident was related to rip tides but said: "Our advice is simple.

"If you are heading out for a swim, remember that even though the sea may look calm on the surface, there is the danger of rip tides or strong currents underneath.

"We recommend that you swim at a lifeguarded beach, take note of any warning signs and it is best to tell someone ashore what you are doing so they can keep an eye on you.

"If you see someone in difficulty at the coast, call 999 and ask for the coastguard."

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