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News Archive > General > Coastguard swims to stranded man's rescue

Coastguard swims to stranded man's rescue

By Warren Wilkins 19th January 2012

A COASTGUARD volunteer courageously dived into the icy sea off Newquay on Saturday night to save a man’s life.

Darren Keal from the Newquay Coastguard Cliff Rescue Service swam across to rescue the young man at about 5.30pm – just seconds before the rock he had been stranded on at South Fistral was submerged by the rising tide.

The Coastguard took the decision to enter the water as three to four-foot waves had started to crash over the stranded man.

Three fellow members of the Coastguard rescue team managed to pull the pair to safety using a rope. Both Newquay lifeboats and a helicopter from RNAS Culdrose were on standby in case the men were swept out to sea.

The stranded man from Newquay, who was in his early twenties, is believed to have been taking photographs of the sunset. He alerted the emergency services by using his mobile phone. The incident occurred adjacent to the Bay Hotel in Esplanade Road.

The station officer of Newquay Coastguard Cliff Rescue Team, Dave Bulley, said: “Darren did a fine job. It needed to be done because of the incoming tide. There were no other options.

“The casualty was spotted on a rock outcrop, which was surrounded by three to four-foot of incoming surf. A rescue helicopter and the Newquay lifeboats were requested. In the meantime the Coastguard rescue team made their way across the rocks to where a gully separated them from the casualty.

“The surf was running over the casualty so Darren entered the water and swam across to join him with a lifejacket and a torpedo tube. He was rescued by Darren and both were pulled to safety by three other Coastguards. All those involved were not injured but were cold. On arrival of the rescue helicopter the rock had disappeared.

“There would have been a problem if the casualty had been swept into the water. If he was swept into the sea the lifeboats would have had an opportunity to pick him up but if he had gone into the gully it would have been down to the Coastguard team or the helicopter.

“I would urge people to be aware of the incoming tide at all times. Keep a sharp eye behind yourselves.”

By Warren Wilkins 19th January 2012

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