25 uni students struggle during beach swim

Rescue services were called to help 25 university students after they tried to swim in the sea in 25-30kt winds and heavy swells yesterday afternoon. The coastguard was alerted and a rescue helicopter scrambled by a worried member of the public when the group got into difficulties at Gyllyngvase Beach.

The majority of the swimmers made their own way back to the shore but one had to be rescued by the Falmouth inshore lifeboat which was called to the scene. Three swimmers were treated for hypothermia by paramedics.

Falmouth Coastguard Watch Manager Mick Quinn said: ‘We believe that the group of youths were from the Combined University of Cornwall at Penryn and had come for a Sunday afternoon swim, not realising the weather conditions were so severe.

‘I am pleased to say there has been no serious injuries, or worse, loss of life. But the outcome could have been very different, if the wind had been offshore instead of inshore and if the alarm was not raised so quickly.’

Mr Quinn added it was ‘ill-advised’ to go into the sea without being properly prepared and wearing appropriate clothing.