UNPREDICTABLE weather has sparked a warning from lifeguards after a number of dramatic rescues.
RNLI lifeguards are urging swimmers to pay attention to strong winds and tides following a number of incidents at Boscombe and Christchurch after recent storms caused choppy seas, mini rip currents and strong winds.
On Sunday, young lifeguard Ben Radford, based at Avon Beach in Christchurch, spotted a kitesurfer in trouble.
The former member of Christchurch Lifesaving Club sprang into action and paddled out towards him on the rescue board.
He was joined by volunteer crew from Mudeford RNLI, bringing the kitesurfer to safety.
There were also a number of incidents at Fisherman’s Walk with swimmers getting into trouble as a result of the heavy surf, high winds and strong currents leading to ‘treacherous’ conditions for bathers.
A senior lifeguard pulled a woman from the water seconds before she went under for the last time.
The large and unpredictable waves had pushed her under the water several times, and the mini rip currents were quickly pulling her out to sea.
The next day, she came down to the lifeguard base to give them her heartfelt thanks for saving her life.
Mike Winter, RNLI lifeguard supervisor said: “The woman was extremely lucky – thankfully she was close to a lifeguard patrolled area otherwise I hate to think what would have happened.
“On a lifeguarded beach there are trained professionals to help keep you safe – they’ll be on hand if something goes wrong, in or out of the water.”
He added: “The beach is a great place to spend the summer and it’s fantastic to see so many people out at the coast.
“But with the strong winds and heavy surf that come with the changeable weather we’ve been having, it’s important to take extra care - always heading to a lifeguarded beach and swimming between the red and yellow flags.”