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Three swimmers pulled from the water in two separate rescues off Avon Beach during the weekend

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PEOPLE were pulled from the water in two rescue operations off a Christchurch beach during the weekend.

Two swimmers were brought to shore by lifeguards at Avon Beach last Friday afternoon before the RNLI and coastguard teams, including a helicopter, responded to a third swimmer in trouble in the early hours of Sunday morning.

Southbourne Coastguard responded to a call-out around 4.40pm last Friday, arriving to find two people being treated by lifeguards, and arranged handing them over to paramedics.

RNLI inshore lifeboat from Wells (50021034)
RNLI inshore lifeboat from Wells (50021034)

No further details were available as to these swimmers’ conditions.

The second call-out came shortly after 1.30am on Sunday, reporting a lone swimmer missing in the water, and Mudeford RNLI’s Atlantic 85 lifeboat Mudeford Servant launched.

Quickly on scene, it started a water-based shoreline search from Mudeford Quay to Steamer Point, aided by white rocket flares, search lights and night vision equipment.

The RNLI shore crew, which assists with the lifeboat’s launch and recovery, performed a land-based shoreline search, joined by Southbourne Coastguard and HM Coastguard helicopter Rescue 175.

Once the shore crew reported hearing a shout for help and gave an approximate position, the helicopter’s on-board equipment helped its crew direct the lifeboat to the casualty, who was brought on board having spent over an hour in the water.

Avon Beach at Christchurch was the scene of two water rescues last weekend (Photo: Stock image)
Avon Beach at Christchurch was the scene of two water rescues last weekend (Photo: Stock image)

Assessment on the way back to Mudeford Quay prompted concerns they may have taken in some water and paramedics were called.

The casualty was taken by ambulance to the Royal Bournemouth Hospital for observation.

Mudeford RNLI volunteer helm Simon Barnett said afterwards: “This was a great example of coordination by all of the emergency services involved and the many hours of training by all the volunteers at RNLI Mudeford really paid off with a good result.”

RNLI beach safety advice can be found online at https://bit.ly/3lONgOe

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