Cornwall beach rescue: Eight people saved from rising tide at Maenporth Beach

The group found themselves unable to get to shore safely Credit: HM Coastguard

Eight people had to be rescued from a beach in Cornwall after getting stranded on rocks in a rising tide.

The group got caught in waist-deep water at Maenporth beach in Falmouth on Monday 29 August.

Coastguard rescue teams from Falmouth and Porthleven, the senior coastguard operations officer and Falmouth’s RNLI crew were all sent to the scene shortly before 4pm.

A coastguard spokesperson said: "They found an urgent situation, with the tide coming in, time running out and the lifeboat unable to get close enough with the rocks jutting into the water.

"A water rescue was the only solution – so Matt and a coastguard rescue officer carried out tethered swims to bring all eight people to safety."

Senior officer Matt Rogers said tides “so often catch people out”, adding: “An area that seems perfectly safe when the tide is out can very quickly be surrounded by, or deep in, water when the tide comes in. 

“Fortunately our coastguard rescue teams were able to rescue the group of people off the rocks, as the lifeboat couldn’t get in close enough, and get everyone back to safety before anything tragic happened. 

“It shows how suddenly you can find yourself in quite serious danger on our coasts.”

HM Coastguard issues the following safety advice, for coastal visits:

  • Make sure you check the weather and tides to check it is safe to head out, wear appropriate footwear and clothing for your activity, know the sea conditions and stick to coastal paths. 

  • If you get caught in a strong current or rip current try to stay as calm as you can, raise our hand and shout for help. Hold on to your surf or body board if you have one. If you can’t get help, try and swim parallel to the beach until you’re out of trouble then swim to the shore. If you can stand up, wade instead of swimming. 

  • Choose a lifeguarded beach and if you decide to go for a swim, always swim between the red and yellow flags. 

  • If you find yourself being blown out to sea, or if you unexpectedly fall into the water, shout for help and wave your arms. Remember the RNLI advice to Float to Live.

  • Never use inflatables in the sea or rivers. They are best saved for use in swimming pools. 

  • Carry a mobile phone so that you have a way of making contact in an emergency and make sure you tell someone where you are going and when you will be back. Consider putting your phone in a waterproof pouch.

  • As ever, the message is: keep safe, but if you see anybody in trouble or if you get into difficulty, call 999 and ask for the Coastguard.