RNLI’s half-term warning after stranded surfer rescued in Newquay

  • Credit: RNLI

The RNLI is warning people to only visit beaches with lifeguards in Devon and Cornwall this half-term following a spate of rescues.

The charity will increase cover on South West beaches as thousands of tourists are expected to visit while schools are off.

A large swell is forecast to hit the region in the coming days and lifeguards are worried about people getting into difficulty.

It follows a number of recent rescues at Newquay’s Fistral Beach, including one incident involving a stranded surfer which was captured on camera.

The surfer was swept towards rocks by powerful waves. Credit: RNLI

Lewis Timson, who is the RNLI’s lead lifeguard supervisor for Newquay, said: “With some mild weather and decent swell, the beaches around the region have remained consistently busy into October. 

“We are expecting even more visitors over the half term week, with many people still staycationing in the South West and locals looking to enjoy the coast before the temperature drops.

“October is one of the best months for surf with the water still relatively warm and more consistent, bigger waves. 

“For this reason, we’d urge anyone hoping to get into the water check the weather and surf forecasts before you leave so you can make an informed decision and come prepared. 

“If unsure, head to a lifeguarded beach where the teams can advise on the suitability of the conditions.”

The video footage of the rescue was captured by a passer-by on October 9.

It showed quick-thinking RNLI lifeguards coming to the aid of a surfer, who was being swept towards rocks by powerful waves.

The following six beaches in Devon and Cornwall will continue a full-time daily lifeguard service between 10am-6pm until Sunday 31 October:

  • Woolacombe

  • Croyde

  • Fistral

  • Perranporth

  • Porthmeor

  • Sennen

The following 13 beaches in Cornwall and Devon will operate a daily October half-term (23 – 31 October) service:

  • Widemouth

  • Summerleaze

  • Harlyn

  • Constanine

  • Polzeath

  • Towan

  • Watergate Bay

  • Mawgan Porth

  • Crantock 

  • Porthtowan

  • Gwithian North

  • Praa Sands

  • Tregonhawke

  • Bantham (Devon)