Six canoeists who abandoned their 30 metre outrigger after a wave swamped them off St Ives head were lucky RNLI guards were on hand to save them from a strong rip.
Disaster was averted at around 7.20pm on Tuesday as the sportsmen hit a big wave on the bow rounding the headland.
The craft sank and the canoeists had to jump clear and try and roll it out of the water.
But the crew were caught in a ‘strong tidal current’ which was dragging them to the centre of Porthmeor Beach.
One of the team called the coastguard and both the St Ives lifeboats launched at 7.25pm.
The inshore lifeboat picked up the casualties from the water before transferring them to the all weather lifeboat which took them back to the lifeboat station where they were warmed up.
St Ives Coxswain Tommy Cocking explained: ‘The canoeists got into trouble around the headland, where, with the wind blowing against the tide it creates big swells which is what caught them out.
“The strength of the tide pushed them into the middle of Porthmeor beach before we reached them.
“Thankfully no one was injured or needed medical attention, but any more than 10 minutes later, the situation could have very serious indeed.
“The casualties were wearing just shorts and t-shirts so a prolonged time in the water, which is still very cold could have been very dangerous.’
The all weather lifeboat returned to pick up the canoe and towed it undamaged back to the station.