Woman rescued near Devon after going missing in the sea

A woman went missing while swimming off Duckpool beach, Bude, Cornwall
-Credit: (Image: Pauline Kent)

A woman was rescued after she encountered difficulties and went missing while swimming near the North Devon border. On Thursday afternoon, July 4, Falmouth Coastguard alerted RNLI lifeguards following a 999 call about a missing swimmer near Duckpool beach, a non-lifeguarded beach approximately 1km away from Sandymouth beach.

RNLI lifeguard Leon Cherrington-Jones responded from Sandymouth beach, where lifeguards patrol, and ran 1.5km along the beach to the water's edge at Duckpool beach. Here, family members of the swimmer informed Leon of her location.

Leon swam out with a rescue tube and located the swimmer between the rocks, floating on her back. He was then able to retrieve the casualty using the tube and float them past the rocky area before bringing her back to shore.

With the help of a family member, Leon managed to get the casualty onto the beach and perform a medical assessment, reports Cornwall Live.

The swimmer was transferred up to the car park where they were met by the Bude Coastguard team who performed their own medical assessment and advised the casualty to visit the minor injuries clinic as she had swallowed a significant amount of water.

RNLI lifeguards from Summerleaze had been tasked to attend on the Rescue Water Craft as well as Bude RNLI lifeboat crew but once the casualty had been assessed they were stood down.

RNLI Lifeguard Supervisor, Ross Hambley, praised Leon for his swift and professional response in rescuing a swimmer caught in a rip current at Duckpool Beach, saying: "I'd like to commend Leon for his incredible work to act quickly and with great professionalism to rescue a swimmer who had been caught in a dangerous rip current off Duckpool Beach."

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He was also pleased that the swimmer adopted the 'Float to live' position, noting: "What was pleasing to hear was the casualty was in the 'Float to live' position, on her back with her legs spread and ears submerged which is vital and no doubt helped the swimmer, given the length of time she was in the water."

Hambley highlighted the dangers of the local coastline and advised caution, stating: "This area is prominent for rip currents and the incident serves as a reminder to people about the dangers of the north Cornwall coastline. It's important, if you are going to the coast, go to a lifeguarded beach and swim between the red and yellow flags."

He further explained the importance of swimming in designated areas: "This area is identified as the safest place to swim on the beach and is monitored by the lifeguards who can react quickly if you get into difficulties."