Teens cut off by sea in Cornwall and stranded in cave prompts major rescue mission

The two teenagers are now in hospital. Credit: St Ives RNLI lifeboat

A major rescue operation had to be launched after two teenagers got cut off by the tide and were left stranded in a cave in Cornwall.

The RNLI is now urging people to check tide times before venturing out around coastal areas after the incident near Portreath.

The coastguard said a 999 call was made at around 6pm on Monday 22 May to say two teenagers had been cut off by the water at Basset's Cove to the west of Portreath.

The pair were pushed back into a cold, dark cave. They were stuck there for several hours before being rescued by coastguard helicopters and taken to hospital.

RNLI and Coastguard teams from Porthreath, St Agnes and St Ives were sent to the scene as well as rescue helicopters, police officers and the ambulance service.

One rescue helicopter from Newquay rescued the first teen and the second was picked up by a helicopter from St Athan, Wales.

Both were taken to the Royal Cornwall Hospital in Treliske as they were cold and had injuries caused by rocks. The pair are now believed to be well.

Volunteer crew member at St Agnes Lifeboat Station, Fraser Watt, described it as a "terrifying" experience for the teenagers and a really challenging rescue.

He said: "It was our second rescue of the day, we had an initial call out at about 4.30pm to two kayakers who were stranded on a beach, we recovered them, then returned to station, refuelled and the second call out at about 6.30pm.

"We immediately dispatched the lifeboat and headed down to Basset’s Cove, approximately seven nautical miles south-west of the station.

“The first casualty was being winched into the coastguard helicopter and taken directly to the hospital when we arrived on the scene.

"There was then a period of around an hour when the helicopters were off-scene. We tried to reassure the casualty that we were on the scene, it must have been terrifying stuck in the dark and cold.

"I certainly expect they were in there two to three hours before we got them out, we were on scene about high water, the water level would’ve been quite high within the cave."

He added the teenagers were "exceptionally lucky", adding it's important to "research your tides before you head out and the weather".

He said: "If you’re going kayaking or for a coastal walk, let someone know where you’re going, what you’re doing and most importantly when you’ll be back."

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