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RNLI Rip Currents guide

Rip Currents

Cornwall is know for its wonderful coastline. Our beautiful beaches and sea is why so many people flock to Cornwall. Whilst the sea is super fun, it can also be dangerous. It is important that you know what to look out for and what to do if you find yourself in trouble. One of the things to look out for is rip currents.

Rip Currents

Rip Currents are strong currents running out to sea which can quickly drag people out with them. They can reach 4–5mph, which is faster than an Olympic swimmer. Rips are especially powerful in larger surf, but never underestimate the power of any water. It’s not only the sea where they can be found either, be careful around river mouths, estuaries and man-made structures like piers and groynes.

How to Spot a Rip Current

Rip currents can be difficult to spot but can sometimes be identified by a channel of choppy, churning water on the sea’s surface. It is important to remember that even the most experienced locals can be caught out by rip currents, so always follow the advice of lifeguards, stay between the correct flags and if in doubt, ask a lifeguard any questions you have. We would also recommend only going in the sea at lifeguarded beaches, use this link to find the ones closest to you. To find information about the beaches close to Helsbury, enter our postcode, PL32 9RH. Make sure to check the dates and times that Lifeguards are present.

What To Do if You Are Caught in a Rip Current

If you are caught in a rip current remember to never swim against it, you will get exhausted and put yourself in more danger, if you are able to stand, wade, do not swim. If you are able to, swim parallel to the shore until free of the rip and then head for shore. Always raise your hand and shout for help. If you see anyone else in trouble, alert the lifeguards or call 999 or 112 and ask for the coastguard, NEVER try to intervene yourself.

All information in this post is from the RNLI website. You can also click here for a link to a leaflet from the RNLI for even more information on how to keep yourself safe in the sea.

We are not trying to deter you from going in the sea, we know it is a fun and important part of your Cornish holiday, however it is incredibly important that you know the dangers of the sea and know how to keep yourself safe.

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