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Statistics reveal children are at risk in the water

The RNLI and the Amateur Swimming Association are teaming up at Bude to launch a safe swimming initiative.

It comes after statistics revealed a high number of incidents where children were unsafe in the water.

  • 17% of parents say their child has got into difficulties in the water
  • 5% of parents say their child has been in a serious incident in the water
  • 21% of parents don't always supervise their children in the water
  • 9% of parents say their children can't swim
  • 21% of parents believe if their child can swim a length of a 25m pool they will be safe to swim in the water.

Swimming safety initiative launches in Bude today

Swimming safety initiative launches in Bude today
Credit: PA

A charity has teamed up with the RNLI to encourage people to be safe when swimming as children try to cool off.

The Amateur Swimming Association will be launching a water safety initiative in Bude today after it found that 17% of parents in the South West say their child has got into difficulties in water. This summer they'll be running courses to try to give children confidence when out in open water.


Meat cleaver robbery in Bude

A man has robbed a sweetshop brandishing a meat cleaver in the Cornish town of Bude.

Police have appealed for witnesses after the incident in the Candy Shop and newsagent in Belle Vue yesterday afternoon.

The offender was armed with a knife and a meat cleaver and threatened staff before making off with the contents of the till.

He's described as white, aged in his 20s or 30s, 5' 8" tall with dark hair and a thin clean shaven face.

Police are appealing for witnesses to a robbery in Bude Credit: Devon & Cornwall Police

Signs to go up for the region's beach water quality

The sea off Summerleaze Beach in Bude. Credit: ITV News West Country

Volunteers are putting up signs predicting water quality at ten beaches around the region.

Cooling off in the sea off Summerleaze Beach. Credit: ITV News West Country

Signs will be displayed at beach entrances, as well as online, to advise people of the risks of going into the sea.

Summerleaze Beach. Credit: ITV News West Country

Children learn dangers of swimming in the sea

The lessons will take place in the sea pool at Bude Credit: ITV News West Country

The RNLI is launching a month-long event in Bude, warning of the dangers of swimming in the sea.

Swim Safe aims to teach children and parents about the differences between swimming in a pool and in open water at the coast.

Children account for around 2/3 of incidents RNLI lifeguards respond to each year, on some of the UK's busiest beaches.

Cornwall adventure centre staff go on strike

Staff at an adventure centre in Cornwall have gone on strike. Over half of the 74 staff at Adventure International in Bude walked out on Friday.

The centre can accommodate 350 people and runs outdoor holidays for school groups and families. Schoolchildren from around the south west have been affected, with some children returning home.

The strike was prompted by a staff redundancy.


Rugby star Phil Vickery launches campaign in Bude

Former England International Phil Vickery began his rugby career in Bude Credit: ITV News West Country

Phil Vickery was in Bude today to unveil a campaign to find the best supported grassroots rugby club in England. The Pride of the Nation scheme will reward the winning club with a visit from an England rugby legend during NatWest RugbyForce weekend on 15th and 16th June.

Rugby clubs need to get their local community to vote online to get them to the top of the leaderboard. To find out more click here

Bude's new lifeboat formally named

The new inshore lifeboat at sea Credit: Peter Jeffery/Widemouth Bay

Volunteers at Bude RNLI lifeboat station are holding a service of dedication for their new inshore lifeboat. Mrs Patricia Bird from Kent - who donated the vessel - is to name it George Bird in memory of her late husband. The event starts at 1100.

The new D class inshore lifeboat replaces a similar craft. The Henry Philip was on station from 2004 - 2012, and was involved in rescuing 29 people in 69 call-outs

'Accidental death' verdict for mother who drowned

A mother from Somerset drowned after attempting to save her two sons from a lethal rip-tide off the Cornish coast, an inquest heard.

Alison Tooby from Wellington sprang into action after seeing her boys getting into difficulties while body-boarding at Northcott Mouth in Bude on September 3 last year.

Members of the public, aided by RNLI Bude inshore lifeboat, rushed to help and rescued one boy while the other got back to shore by himself.

Alison, 53, was found face down in the water and after resuscitation attempts failed she was airlifted to hospital and later pronounced dead.

I went straight in and could see two people in the waters edge 80 metres from shore clinging to a body board.

At that stage these were my priority, so I went towards them. As I got closer I saw a lady in a black swimming costume face down in the water.

My priority then changed to the lady. I paddled to her, pulled her from the water and turned her to face me and checked for vital signs but she was unresponsive.

– Martin Fry, lifeguard supervisor, RNLI

This was a tragic accident and I would like to thank everybody who helped.

Especially the people who went into the water to help because having listened to this today it is clear that they were very brave to do that.

– Mike McGuffie, Alison's partner

An inquest in Bideford, Devon, heard how the summer lifeguard cover has previously ended a day before the tragedy.

Recording a verdict of accidental death, Coroner Tomalin said:

Tragedy is the right word to describe this incident in regards to losing her life but this could have been a lot worse of course as her children were also in danger.

That is a reminder to all of us about the beaches in the South West and that we must respect the sea and take care.

Please do accept my condolences to you, your family, your children and I thank you for coming today, I am sure it has not been easy.

– Coroner Tomalin
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