Three incidents with five people rescued off Freshwater West

Rescue: A teenage kayaker was rescued by the RNLI yesterday at Freshwater West. PICTURE: RNLI

Rescue: A teenage kayaker was rescued by the RNLI yesterday at Freshwater West. PICTURE: RNLI

First published in Milford Mercury news

RNLI lifeguards rescued five people in three separate incidents off Freshwater West beach yesterday afternoon (Wednesday).

At 1.30pm RNLI lifeguard Ali Richards was at waters’ edge keeping an eye on swimmers between the red and yellow flags when he spotted an inflatable kayak bouncing in the waves 200 meters offshore at the north end of the beach. A 17 year-old boy was in the inflatable which suddenly capsized in the waves. The teenager managed to pull himself into the kayak but was instantly thrown back into the water when he was hit by another large wave. As Ali was making his way over to the north end of the beach the teenager started waving for help and his father ran into the water to try and help his son.

Ali grabbed a rescue board and rescue tube and started to paddle out to assist the men. As Ali paddled over the large waves he could see that the father was holding up his son who was by then overcome by fatigue and struggling to stay afloat. Once Ali was close enough the teenage boy grabbed hold of the rescue board and quickly assisted onto the board. Ali gave the father the rescue tube as support to help him stay afloat as RNLI lifeguard Eli Culyer paddled over on another rescue board to assist him back to shore. Both father and son who were visiting Pembrokeshire from Chorley were brought safely back to shore, checked over by the lifeguards and were thankfully none the worse after the incident.

The same day RNLI lifeguards were called out twice at 12.15pm and 4pm to assist young bodyboarders who were caught in rip currents near the point at the beach. All three casualties were young girls under the age of 10 and visiting the area on family holidays when they ventured a little out of their depth while playing in the sea. RNLI lifeguards assisted the girls safely back to shore and reunited with their parents.

Chris Rigby, RNLI Lifeguard Supervisor said: “Parts of the coastline has changed dramatically as a result of the winter storms - because of this it’s more important than ever to ask for advice when visiting the beach this summer. “RNLI lifeguards provide a safety service on Wales’ busiest beaches and a big part of their daily work is to give safety advice to members of the public. “The lifeguards know the beaches well and can spot potential dangers so please take not of their advice this summer.”

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