This dramatic video shows the moment three young girls were pulled from the sea by RNLI volunteers.
The girls got into trouble – and their desperate father who jumped in to rescue them – after they were caught in an ebbing tide while body boarding.
They were being swept out to sea when they were spotted by a former lifeboat crew member who quickly called the station.
Volunteers donned their dry suits and sprang into action, pulling the girls from the sea at Instow beach, Bideford, Devon, but before they could celebrate another call came in.
The girls father had jumped in to try and save them – but got into trouble himself.
The RNLI crew, from the Appledore station, made a diversion to save the father and pulled him onboard before delivering the family to safety.
An RNLI spokesperson said: “Having just completed routine maintenance on the all-weather boat, the boarding boat was still on the slipway.
“The pagers were immediately set off and within a minute or so the boarding boat was launched to save the girls.
“It was by chance whilst the girls were being rescued that the crew spotted the father in the water, also in severe difficulty, having swum out to try and save the girls.
“As the crew were on their way to the father, other members of the public called 999 to report that the father was in trouble in the water.
“He was also picked up by the lifeboat and all four were returned safe and well, though a little shaken, to Instow beach.”
Martin Cox, Appledore RNLI Coxswain, said: “The tides around this part of the coast and within the estuary are particularly strong with a large rise and fall.
“Please take care. If any member of the public sees any person in distress in or around the water, please phone 999 and ask for the Coastguard.”
Later that day, the lifeboat was launched again to save two teenagers trapped in a cave.
Once the crew arrived at the cliffs and located two teenagers trying to shelter in a small cave, they realised it was not going to be a straightforward rescue.
A volunteer crew member entered the water and swam with a safety line to take one casualty at time back to the lifeboat.
The teens were returned to the lifeboat station where they were warmed up, and paramedics checked them over before being released to one of the parents.
In a message to the crew Tony Merrill, Appledore lifeboat operations manager, said: ‘”I would like to take the opportunity to thank all those who were involved in the shouts over the last few days.
“Due to the commitment and dedication of all those involved six members of the public will be walking away from the incidents with no more than a bad memory to get on with the rest of their lives.
“To me that is the very essence of what we are about and why you as a crew put so much time and commitment into the station and the service we provide.”