RNLI renews calls to heed warnings after major incident in Cornwall
Hurricane Epsilon has had different results for people enjoying the stunning Cornish coastlines. Strong winds and low pressure created huge waves which resulted in a major incident involving nine people being swept into the sea by surging waves.
RNLI lifeguards patrolling Gwithian beach in Cornwall were among the responding emergency services to the incident. Also in attendance were St Ives RNLI lifeboat, Portreath Coastguard Rescue Team, Cornwall Air Ambulance, South West Ambulance Service and Coastguard helicopter Rescue 194.
The lifeguards had been flying the red flag all day at Gwithian due to the heavy swell when they were called by Falmouth Coastguard.
The Rescue Water Craft was launched through the huge breaking surf while another four lifeguards made their way by land.
On arrival, all nine casualties were out of the water. The lifeguards worked with the coastguard to triage and treat the casualties who had a range of injuries from cuts and bruises to water inhalation, before handing over to the ambulance service.
Five casualties were airlifted to hospital, the other four were taken by land ambulance.
The incident has led the RNLI to renew its safety messages for those visiting the coast over the next few days to stay well back from the water’s edge to avoid being caught out.
And while the RNLI had warned of a ‘colossal swell’ and ‘extremely dangerous conditions’, the waves compelled professional surfer Reubyn Ash to join others to take-on towering waves breaking as high as 20ft (6m), says the BBC.
Video courtesy of Robert Blackett Media