Cornwall rip current rescues prompt safety call

Five holidaymakers have been rescued in Cornwall in less than 24 hours after all were caught in rip currents.

A 57-year-old Brighton man got into difficulty at Strangles Beach, near Crackington Haven, at about 1130 BST.

He was plucked to safety by the fishing vessel Sharicmar, then airlifted by an RMB Chivenor helicopter.

Three London tourists were rescued at Porth on Sunday evening, hours after a Newcastle University student was saved by a surfer at Fistral Beach.

A 22-year-old student who also went missing at Fistral at the same time has not been found.

The swimmers rescued at Porth and Strangles were cold and shocked, but unhurt.

During the Strangles incident, the man spent about an hour in the water before he was pulled out by the fishing vessel and picked up by the helicopter.

Search and rescue paramedic Sgt Ryan Thomas, who was on board the helicopter, said: "He said that he was trying to swim but it was just to no avail.

"He said that when he lost sight of the beach he thought that his time was up."

'Stay afloat'

A Maritime and Coastguard Agency spokesman told BBC News: "Despite the long spell of good weather, it's early in the season and the water is still very cold.

"Rip currents are not uncommon - that's why people should use beaches with lifeguard patrols.

"Swimmers need to be aware of their own strengths and stay within flag patrolled areas."

Anyone caught in a rip current should try to relax and stay afloat until the water flattens out, the spokesman added.

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