More than a dozen surfers, some quickly drifting out to sea, were pulled out of rip currents by RNLI lifeguards last week.

The combination of three to four foot surf and light wind caused an abundance of rip currents on Pembrokeshire’s beaches with the conditions affecting swimmers and surfers.

On Saturday, lifeguards spotted two surfers caught in a rip current at Whitesands Beach. The lifeguards entered the water with rescue boards and paddled straight to the casualties. One surfer was helped onto a rescue board while was instructed how to exit the current, both were safely returned to shore.

At Newgale Beach, senior lifeguard Dafydd Ridgway spotted two surfers, just outside the black and white flags, who were struggling to return to shore.

Dafydd immediately made his way out on a rescue board towards the surfers he helped one onto his rescue board and assisted the other until they were out of the rip current, making sur that both got back safely.

Newgale’s lifeguard team decided to patrol the beach using the Rescue Water Craft (RWC) due to the increasing number of people in the water and the rip currents that continued to appear.

Shortly after launching the RWC, lifeguards came across three surfers who had also found themselves stuck in a rip current.

The trio was helped onto the RWC’s rescue sled and returned to shore, with the lifeguards retrieving their surfboards.

Later a bodyboarder who was swiftly drifting out in a rip current was helped onboard the rescue sled and safely returned them to shore.

During the remainder of the afternoon, lifeguards maintained a rotation of RWC patrols to shepherd people into the flagged areas. During this time, they gave preventative advice to at least 15 people.

In the south of the county nine more surfers were helped out of dangerous rip currents by lifeguards patrolling the shore and using the RWC.

Stuart Penfold RNLI lead lifeguard supervisor for north Pembrokeshire said: “The combination of surf, wind, and tide moving across the sandbanks at Newgale often creates rip currents.

“The location of these currents can change every day. This forces us to regularly move the flags and dynamically assess the beach.

“We strongly advise that you swim and bodyboard between the red and yellow flags or surf, kayak and paddleboard between the black and white flags. The flagged areas are patrolled at all times by our lifeguards between 10am-6pm.

“If you see the red flag flying, we have deemed that area of the beach as unsafe, most commonly due to rip currents.

“If you find yourself caught in a rip current, don’t swim against it or you’ll get exhausted. If you can stand, then wade don’t swim. If you can, try to swim parallel to the shore until you’re free of the current, and then head back to shore. Always raise your hand and shout for help.”

In Pembrokeshire the following beaches are currently being patrolled by RNLI lifeguards every day from 10am-6pm: Newport Sands, Poppit Sands, Whitesands, Newgale Central and South, Broad Haven, Freshwater West, Tenby North, Tenby Castle, Tenby South and Saundersfoot.