The life of a man was "undoubtedly" saved yesterday after he got into difficulties in a river.

Realising that an immediate rescue was needed, the Hayle Surf Life Saving Club beach wardens were forced to break protocol and go to his aid.

The wardens spotted the man "clearly in difficulty" in the mouth of the River Hayle, next to Porth Kidney Beach, in a strong cross/offshore wind.

There are currently no lifeguards on Hayle Beach at the moment and the beach wardens are meant to only be there to give advice and keep a watch in order to alert emergency services to any incidents.

However, the club said: "Due to the requirement for an immediate response, volunteer club members immediately brought rescue equipment to the casualty to assist with floatation whilst awaiting rescue.


"Whilst a beach warden co-ordinated the response from the beach and called the relevant emergency services, the first member to reach the casualty deemed it necessary to recover them to the beach immediately."

The man was taken onto Porth Kidney, to wait for the coastguard helicopter to take him to hospital.

Due to the helicopter already being used in another rescue, however, the man was instead transferred into the care of the South West Ambulance Service, using a board and the club's all-terrain vehicle.

A club spokesperson said: "Outstanding work by Matt, Phil and Kathryn; undoubtedly a life saved, thank you and well done.

"If Matt had been approximately 30 seconds later reaching the casualty, the outcome could have been very different.

"You may have heard our beach wardens warning not to swim in the river over the past week - this is why."


They went on to add: "If you get into difficulty, either a full lifeboat crew or helicopter crew are your primary rescue options - probably not how you want your day at the beach to end.

"The river is dangerous, stay out. Stay within your ability. Do not go alone."

The man's wife has subsequently spoken of her gratitude on the club's Facebook page, writing: "I would like to thank you so much for all your kind gestures and most of all thank you so much to Matt and Phil. You saved my husband's life and we can’t thank you enough.

"My husband is doing OK, just gets out of breath easily and is in pain with his back and ribs, but on the plus side he’s good and he’s alive. Thanks again to Matt and Phil.

"Also his mom, dad and sister have travelled all the way down here and they also can’t thank you enough. You're both amazing and so brave."