Dramatic helicopter rescue for swimmers dragged out to sea by a rip tide in Cornwall

Two swimmers were rescued after they were swept out to sea by a strong rip current.

Five friends were swimming near a beauty spot in Cornwall and were dragged out to sea by the rip current - a flow of water away from the shore that can be strong enough to overcome an Olympic swimmer.

Dramatic footage of the incident showed two of the swimmers being battered by waves in Holywell Bay.

High winds and rough seas created treacherous conditions despite the unseasonably mild weather.

The coastguard was called to the stretch of coast, around five miles from Newquay, at around 2.30pm by one of the group who managed to make it back to shore.

Two more swimmers made it to safety and a further two were left struggling against the swell.

A coastguard search and rescue helicopter based at Newquay and the Newquay Coastguard Rescue Team were scrambled to the scene where, due to the time of year, there were no lifeguards on duty.

A video taken from a helicopter hovering overhead shows the swimmers being buffeted by waves as a rescuer was lowered into the water before throwing them a lifebuoy.

All five of the group were then flown to Royal Cornwall Hospital Treliske for medical treatment.

Emma Watkins from UK Coastguard warned beachgoers to beware of the dangers and not be fooled by the unseasonably mild temperatures.