Six people were pulled from the sea in Blackpool during two dramatic rescues just minutes apart.
Three children were found struggling to keep their heads above water as crews were heading back from rescuing three men who had jumped from Central Pier.
The call-outs meant volunteers had to cut short time at Blackpool RNLI’s annual family fun day on Saturday.
Visitors instead got to witness two real-life rescues when the team got a call just after 2pm saying three men had jumped into the sea.
All three were pulled from the sea “wet and cold”, the charity said, and one was treated by paramedics before being taken to hospital. The other two were unhurt.
As the crew made their way back to the station, one of them spotted three children in difficulty near the water’s edge.
All six of the people that we helped were extremely luckyKeith Horrocks MBE
Two volunteers – Simon Hoole and Jacob Castle – swam out to help the youngsters, who were out of their depth and struggling to keep their heads above water.
They were taken to the RNLI lifeboat station and treated for shock and the effects of the cold before being transferred to hospital.
Volunteer lifeboat crew member Kyle King said: “We were all really enjoying today’s family fun day when we were called to help six members of the public in difficulty.
“Both incidents showed how quickly things can change when you’re spending time on the beach and in the sea.
“One minute you can be enjoying time with family and friends and the next you can find yourself in a very dangerous situation.
“It’s essential that people remain vigilant at all times when they are on the beach.”
Lifeboat operations manager, Keith Horrocks MBE, added: “All six of the people that we helped were extremely lucky and the outcome could have been very different if our volunteers hadn’t reached them as quickly as they did.
“The children in particular were in a very dangerous position, it was the quick thinking and prompt action of our volunteers, Jacob and Simon, that ensured a happy outcome.”
See Monday’s Gazette for pictures and a report from Blackpool RNLI’s family fun day on Saturday