Six children trapped in gully at Treyarnon - RNLI rescue
Lifeguards saved a group of nine people including six children who were trapped in a gully at a North Cornwall beach.
The RNLI team had to battle 5ft swell to rescue the group that were huddled together on a rocky platform in danger of being swept off.
The perilous situation unfolded just after midday yesterday at Treyarnon.
The gulley has a deep cave at the back so the only way out was the way the group had come in, but with the incoming tide and increasing surf, an exit was too dangerous to attempt.
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RNLI lifeguard Andy Houlder paddled round the rocks on a rescue board while Senior RNLI lifeguard Martin White responded on foot. Zahli Lowe and Dan Lee responded in the inshore rescue boat (IRB) from Constantine.
Mr White said: “Because of the shape of the gully and the size of the swell it was impossible to get the IRB or even the rescue board in close enough to pick up the casualties so the only way was to swim in.
“Myself and Andy swam in with rescue tubes, and communicated with Zahli and Dan who were standing off in the IRB. They could see when a set of waves was coming though so we could time our exit in the lull between sets.
“We swam two children out first, with a dad who was helping another child, we dropped them off at the beach 15 metres away and returned for the second group. We repeated the process with the other three children and one of the adults who was a stronger swimmer helping one of the children.”
Mr Houlder returned to help the final adult out to the IRB.
Mr White said: “It was a very difficult and long process, made even worse by the time pressures of the incoming tide and a building swell. Thankfully we all know this beach and stretch of coastline very well and were able to read the waves and get them all out safely.”