A mother and daughter had to be rescued by a lifeguard after they got into difficulty while bodyboarding.
The pair were noticed by lifeguard David Batty, who was patrolling Seaburn beach in Sunderland, at 2.30pm on August 31. The pair were in the sea between the yellow and red flags.
The girl began to drift out to sea and her mum went to pull her closer. Shortly after, David was alerted by a member of the public that both mother and daughter had been pulled into a dangerous rip current.
Rips are strong currents running out to sea, which can quickly drag people away from the shallows out to deeper water.
The RNLI say rip currents can be difficult to spot, but are sometimes identified by a channel of churning, choppy water on the sea’s surface.
RNLI lifeguard David ran 100m up the beach and entered the water with a rescue tube.
He then swam out 50m to the duo and was able to tow them back onto the sandbanks.
Fortunately, neither of the casualties sustained any injuries.
Lead Lifeguard Supervisor Sean Mills praised the mother and daughter. He said: “It was brilliant that they decided to visit a lifeguarded beach and swim between the red and yellow flags.
“This mean as soon as they found themselves in trouble, one of our lifeguards was on hand to help.”
A red and yellow stiped flag means the area of the beach is protected by lifeguards, meaning it is the safest area to swim, bodyboard, or use inflatables.
Black and white chequered beach flags indicate areas for surfboards, stand-up paddleboards, kayaks and other non-powered craft as well as a launch and recovery area for kitesurfers and windsurfers. The RNLI say members of the public should never swim or bodyboard in these areas.
A red beach flag means danger, and beach goers should never go in the water under any circumstances when the red flag is flying.
If caught in a rip current, swimmers are advised to swim parallel to the shore if possible/ until free of the current before heading for shore. Swimming against it means you could get exhausted. You should also raise your hand and shout for help.
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