Sunday, 21 August 2016
Man nearly swept into the sea in Newquay storm swell
Today, like many other days when a large swell is forecast I've headed down to the local beach to photograph the crazy power of the ocean.
The difference today is that this huge storm swell has come into Cornwall during the middle of the six weeks summer holidays. Usually to get waves of this size would be during a winter storm and certainly when there are a lot less tourists about.
Sadly when the storm began to arrive last night a family were swept out to sea at Fistral beach. The RNLI did a fantastic job and managed to rescue the family but tragically the father of the family didn't make it and died. This has left the whole of town in shock and has really shook up a lot of people.
I go in the sea on a very regular basis and although I often go in the water with friends or family and often whilst lifeguards are on duty I occasionally get frightened by the odd wave. If a wave is bigger than I am comfortable riding or a wave holds me under for slightly longer for those brief few seconds my stomach turns and i'm reminded how dangerous the sea can be. Maybe i'm a bit too safe and don't push my surfing enough but it's days like today when you hear about another death due to the sea and realise you can never be too careful.
My thoughts are with the family of the man that lost his life, it really is just awful news.
Yet this evening I witnessed many people just getting that bit too close to the sea when it was huge and dangerous.
I witnessed a man travel down the stairs to rescue a dog from the water. Within seconds of the man grabbing the dog by the scruff of the neck the next wave had come over the top of them. Another man had ventured down to help the first man and suddenly both men and the dog were hidden under a huge crashing wave.
Luckily the two men and the dog made it back up the stairs and away from danger but this could have been so different so quickly.
Please if you go in the sea make sure you respect the water. Make sure you swim at a lifeguarded beach and learn about the tides and swell before going in. If in doubt speak to the lifeguards and ask the locals for advice.