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Surf schools in Cornwall could face new 'tax'

Some surf schools say they'll be put out of business by the 'tax'. Credit: Barry Batchelor/PA

Surf schools in Cornwall could face a charge for each surf board they use if council plans go ahead.

A licence fee of £72 for each board - or the 'surf tax', as it's been called - could be introduced as a way of raising money to keep the county's beaches clean.

Some schools have warned it could put them out of business, however Cornwall Council argues that the scheme would be a fair one.

"Whether you're a small business and only take out 8 clients, or whether you've got ten, twelve instructors each taking out 8 clients, it's a fair licence scheme because it's 87p per board - and if businesses are using other beaches owned by other land owners, they'll already be paying a licence to use those beaches."

– Joyce Duffin, Cornwall Council

Calls for more patrols at Cornish beach where three drowned

The three who died had been trying to help a group of young people in difficulty. Credit: Family pictures.

There are calls for the Cornish beach where three people drowned trying to rescue others to be covered by lifeguards out of season.

An inquest earlier this week heard that if the beach at Mawgan Porth had been patrolled, the tragic deaths of three surfers - who had been trying to help a group of teenagers in difficulty - may have been prevented.

Steve Hardy's report has more.


Inquest: death of surfers who drowned trying to save teens 'accidental'

The inquest has concluded the trio died accidental deaths. Credit: Family pictures.

The deaths of three people who drowned trying to rescue teenagers at Cornwall's Mawgan Porth last year were accidental, an inquest has concluded.

44-year-old Kevin Reynolds and his 42-year-old partner Rachel Dunn from St. Austell, and Stuart Calder, a holidaymaker from Leeds, had tried to help a four young people who had got into difficulty.

The tragic incident happened during half-term in October last year, when the beach wasn't patrolled by RNLI lifeguards.

Weather meant 'beach would have been closed'

Weather meant 'beach would have been closed' Credit: ITV West Country

A volunteer coastguard has said if Mawgan Porth beach had been patrolled by lifeguards, conditions on the day would have meant it would have been closed.

Twelve beaches in Cornwall and Devon were patrolled by RNLI lifeguards at the time but Mawgan Porth wasn't one of them.

His comments were echoed by a volunteer lifeguard from Devon who helped in the rescue.

Rescued teen tells inquest he had to let go of one victim to save himself

One of the teenagers the trio were trying to save said he was approached by one of the victims but had to let go to "swim to safety".

William Robson has been giving evidence at the inquest into the deaths of a couple from Cornwall and a holidaymaker from Leeds who drowned when they went to the aid of four teenagers at Mawgan Porth during October half term.

The teen said he went swimming but was pulled out of his depth by the strong tide, and, prompting people to came to his aid as he clung onto a surfboard.

He said two of the victims tried to help him but they also got into trouble. He had to let go of one of the victims so he could swim to safety.

He said the current was strong and several waves kept surging over him.

I couldn't see the beach and I was terrified.

– William Robson
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