Watch moment father and son rescued from rip current off Devon coast

  • Watch the RNLI carry out the rescue


A father and son say they are "extremely grateful" after being rescued by the RNLI from a rip current off the Devon coast.

Oliver Gregory, 47, and his son Joshua, 11, were on a family holiday in the region when they were caught out bodyboarding at Bantham Beach.

They said they were swept away from the red and yellow flags towards rocks at the end of the bay.

It was just another callout for the RNLI who say that they have experienced an unprecedented demand throughout the summer as people holiday in the West Country rather than head abroad.

RNLI Lifeguards on a beach in the south west. Credit: RNLI

"We initially went in the water in between the red and yellow flags, but a combination of not looking back at the beach for a reference position and the power of the current, swept us to the side of the bay," Oliver explained.

"We tried to swim back to shore but were not making much progress and as we were still being dragged to the rocks, we began to get concerned.

"I was so relieved when I saw the lifeguards were heading towards us."

The pair were rescued by RNLI lifeguards Ivan Burton and Emily Lawrence who were about to do some training in the inshore rescue boat.

'Anyone can get caught in a rip'

Rob Stuteley, RNLI Lifeguard Supervisor for the South Hames area in Devon, said: "Oliver and Joshua gave themselves the best chance of staying safe by coming to a lifeguarded beach.

"It’s important to understand that anyone can get caught in a rip, which is a strong current running out to sea that can drag people away from the shallows and out of their depth.

"By entering the water between the red and yellow flags the lifeguards were able to spot them quickly and come to their aid. Our lifeguards are trained in water rescue techniques with specialist equipment.

"If you ever see anyone in trouble in the water, do not attempt to go in and rescue them. Instead, alert the lifeguards or call 999 and ask for the Coastguard."

The RNLI released figures yesterday showing they responded to 163 incidents during last year's August Bank Holiday weekend.

The charity is warning people to take extra care this bank holiday weekend, with warm weather expected across the region.