Beach safety this Summer

Schools are out and many West Country families are heading for the region's beaches. Here are some tips to stay safe this Summer.

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Speedy lifeboat rescue at Instow

The RNLI lifeboat at Appledore has rescued three crew members from a boat which had run aground off Instow in North Devon.

The Hedrik began listing and taking on water after hitting an unknown object on Thursday evening.

Swansea Coastguard heard Hedrik's faint Mayday emergency call and notified the Appledore RNLI lifeboat. It reached the scene within ten minutes of the Mayday being received and the three crew members on board were transferred to the lifeboat.

This was an incredibly fast and slick recovery operation. The crew members are safe and dry and we are currently assisting an effort to re-float this vessel using its salvage pump. Thank you to all teams involved

– Steve Matthews, Swansea Coastguard Watch Manager

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Kayakers thrown from their boats in Channel

Two kayakers have been rescued from the Bristol Channel after they were thrown out of their kayaks whilst making the crossing from Steep Holm Island to Brean.

The man and woman had been staying on the island overnight on Saturday and Sunday and were making the crossing this afternoon when they were thrown into the water.

One of them managed to make a 999 call and was able to speak to Swansea Coastguard briefly and give his position before losing signal.

One of the kayaks being recovered. Credit: Weston-super-Mare RNLI

Two lifeboats from Weston-super-Mare RNLI and one from Barry Dock RNLI joined in the search along with an RAF rescue helicopter.

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.

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Picnickers rescued after writing message in the sand

Four adults and three children have been rescued by lifeboat after they got trapped on a beach in Cornwall by the swell. The RNLI was called to Butter Hole beach in Padstow yesterday after a cliff walker spotted the words "send for help" written in the sand.

The party had sailed in for a picnic but as the tide flooded the waves increased and they were afraid to launch back into the sea with the children onboard. As they didn't have radios they wrote the message in the sand and were lucky that it was seen.

This was a very difficult rescue carried out with great skill and bravery. There was the ever present threat of the lifeboat being swamped or capsized by the dumping seas, but our crew worked together to recover all the people and then their boats.

The group made a very sensible decision not to try launching their boats but they were lucky that a walker noticed the message calling for help written in the sand.

I would remind people that it’s important to have a suitable means of contacting someone when going to sea. Don’t assume you will have a mobile phone signal so take a VHF radio.

– Mike Hewitt, RNLI volunteer Lifeboat Operations Manager at Rock

ITV News West Country journalist to get RNLI award

Our Cornwall correspondent Steve Hardy is to receive a special award from the RNLI in Bristol today. It's for his five part series on the building of the new lifeboat station on The Lizard. It was the biggest engineering project ever undertaken by the lifesaving charity.

Steve Hardy on the slipway of the new lifeboat station on The Lizard Credit: ITV News West Country

Check tide times before visiting beaches in the SW

RNLI crew, previously in action. Credit: ITV News West Country

Lifeguards had to rescue 16 people over the weekend who had got caught out by the high tide off the coast of Cornwall.

One couple got stuck while out for a walk with their eight dogs at Whitsand Bay on Saturday.

The advice is if you are heading to the beach check the tide times first.

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