Nine people hospitalised after being swept into sea by surging waves

29 October 2020, 11:27 | Updated: 29 October 2020, 11:44

By Megan White

The RNLI has urged beachgoers to stay away from the sea during poor weather after nine people were swept into the water by surging waves.

Emergency services responded to a major incident after the casualties were caught out by the choppy tide at Gwithian beach in Cornwall.

The lifeguards were alerted to the incident by Falmouth Coastguard and responded immediately from the beach, where they had been flying the red flag all day due to the heavy swell and surging waves.

On arrival all nine casualties were out of the water, but they had a range of injuries from cuts and bruises to water inhalation.

Five casualties were airlifted to hospital, the other four were taken by land ambulance.

Video footage from a similar incident at Treyarnon beach, also in Cornwall, shows another powerful surge sweeping walkers off their feet.

Tom Mansell, RNLI Lead Lifesaving Manager said: “We have been experiencing massive swell hitting the coast and there have been a huge number of interventions made by lifeguards to keep the public safe.

“This was a fantastic multi agency effort which included our colleagues in the emergency services as well as many members of the public.

“These conditions are likely to continue for the next couple of days and we’re urge anyone visiting the beach or the coastline to stand well back from the sea with large surges of water caused by the swell catching people out.”