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Last Updated: Wednesday, 7 May, 2003, 05:49 GMT 06:49 UK
Beach safety to be reviewed
Woolacombe beach
Several surfers in difficulty were picked up by the Appledore Lifeboat

The owner of one of Devon's biggest private beaches is reviewing surfers' safety after a weekend of rescues.

A number of surfers had to be plucked from the sea by lifeboat or the RAF helicopter.

The review is taking place at Woolacombe Beach, which is used by the public, but privately owned by the Parkin Estates.

There was no lifeguard on the beach at the weekend because the service, which is funded by North Devon District Council, does not start until 17 May.

Dangerous combination

Several surfers in difficulty were picked up by the Appledore Lifeboat during a dangerous combination of easterly winds and an ebbing tide.

Some ended up on rocks as they made their own way in against the rip.

One surfer was taken to hospital by the RAF's search and rescue helicopter from Chivenor.

The Parkin Estate then stationed someone on the beach to keep surfers away from the danger.

Now safety measures are being examined, particularly when there is no lifeguard on duty.

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