RNLI rescue for ‘lone’ swimmer in difficulty at Plymouth’s Firestone Bay

  • Video of the rescue (credit: Plymouth RNLI)

A “lone” swimmer had to be rescued by the RNLI after getting into difficulty at Plymouth’s Firestone Bay.

The woman was swimming in the bay on Thursday (15 December) evening when she got into trouble.

Her cries for help were heard by people nearby, who reported the incident to the Coastguard.

With temperatures dipping below freezing, the RNLI was quick to respond - launching two of its Plymouth-based boats to facilitate the rescue.

Crews were called after members of the public heard the swimmer's cries for help. Credit: Plymouth RNLI

Footage of the incident, released by the RNLI, showed emergency services supporting the woman out of the water.

In a tweet, Plymouth RNLI said: “Both boats launched following reports of someone shouting for help.

“The cries for help - made by a lone female who had got into difficulty in the Firestone Bay area - were heard by multiple members of the public who dialled 999 and asked for the Coastguard.”

Advice for swimmers

Going for a swim in cold, open water can be exhilarating - but it’s not without risk.

The RNLI advises people to always swim with someone else, and to tell someone on shore where you are going and when you will be back.

They always recommend swimming at locations with lifeguard cover, but in the absence of any cover, they say it is imperative you know:

  • where you can enter and exit the water

  • your location – are there any hazards you need to be aware of?

  • what the tide and currents are doing - check the tide times before entering the water how to spot rip currents

  • what to do if you get caught in a rip current. Don’t try to swim against it. If you can stand, try to wade rather than swim. Next, swim parallel to the shore until free of the rip and then head for shore. Raise your hand and shout for help.

For more advice on open water swimming, visit the RNLI’s website.