Escape Staff Involved In Mass Rescue


This week two of our team, Mike and Tom, were involved in a mass rescue at Rest Bay beach, Porthcawl.

Both members of the public and Porthcawl RNLI Lifeboats assisted the swimmers in distress, who all left the incident unharmed.

Mike was at Porthcawl Surf School, when a member of the public first alerted him to several people being swept out by a notorious rip current at Rest Bay.  

Without hesitation Mike grabbed his board and made his way down to the water, and quickly realising that this was going to require more hands he called the Coastguard on 999, asking for assistance from the RNLI Lifeboats. 

Mike paddled out and helped 2 teenage girls and an adult male hold onto his board while they waited for the lifeboats. Another member of the public helped 3 others onto his board, while a third person helped more people swim back to shore from shallower waters.

Photo credit: Porthcawl RNLI

Photo credit: Porthcawl RNLI

Photo credit: Porthcawl RNLI

Photo credit: Porthcawl RNLI

Meanwhile, Tom was sat at his desk when his pager sounded. 
As a volunteer crew for Porthcawl RNLI Lifeboat Station, he's ready to answer the call at any time of day, and so made his way to the station ready to launch the lifeboat. 

Both of the station's lifeboats were launched and soon arrived at Rest Bay, assisting the swimmers on board the boats and dropping them back to shore. The swimmers were checked over for injuries, and fortunately all left unharmed thanks to the quick actions of all involved in this mass rescue.

Photo credit: Porthcawl RNLI

"Rip currents are a real hidden danger, and unknown to a lot of people. It was quite a shock to see Mike in the water when we arrived on scene in the lifeboat, as we'd only just been chatting over the phone!
He and the other members of the public did an amazing job keeping the swimmers safe, and getting them back to shore".
- Tom

"Nigel Jones alerted me to a stronger than usual Rip on the left side of the beach, and as we both looked towards the water we could see hands in the air. After quickly alerting the coastguard we grabbed two boards, sprinted to the water and paddled to the groups in danger'.
We're all glad that the rapid response from the public and the RNLI stopped a difficult situation becoming extreme. Luckily in this case nobody was seriously hurt, but it highlights the unseen dangers of the ocean." - Mike


Rips are strong currents that run out to sea, very quickly. They will easily drag people and debris away from the shallows and into deeper water, at speeds as fast as 4 - 5 mph. That's faster than an Olypmic swimmer!

Rip currents are difficult to spot, and can often be identified by a channel of churned up choppy water.

Try to follow the RNLI's advice if you get caught in a Rip Current:

- Don’t try to swim against it or you’ll get exhausted.
- If you can stand, wade don’t swim.
- If you can, swim parallel to the shore until free of the rip and then head for shore.
- Always raise your hand and shout for help.

The RNLI is the charity that saves lives at sea. It is funded entirely by public donations, without which they would be unable to assist in rescues like this.

Click here to make your own donation.

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