Three girls, including the daughter of a local lifeboat crew man, had a lucky escape after being washed into the sea as they enjoyed an afternoon swim.
The emergency services were summoned at 5.40 pm yesterday after reports the girls were in distress off the promenade at Penzance.
The girls were wearing wet-suits and had been jumping into the inner harbour, but then decided to go down the slipway next to the Jubilee Pool.
Although the wind had dropped a ground sea of between 2-3 metres was running and the tide was full.
The corner by the Jubilee Pool is the most turbulent part of the promenade and the youngest girl was caught by a sea and dragged into the water.
Her friend tried to pull her out but fell in beside her.
The third girl, Lucy Haining, the daughter of Penlee Crewman Zac Haining, also entered the water.
She persuaded the other girls not to try to climb out in the dangerous conditions by the slipway but to swim out to sea beyond the breakers and wait for help.
Being the strongest swimmer she helped the others until other assistance arrived.
The girls were spotted by a passer-by who called for help.
Both inshore and all weather Penlee lifeboats were launched.
A helicopter from RNAS Culdrose was also called, along with the Coastguards.
However the inshore lifeboat crew crew spotted the girls in the gathering dark and managed to rescue them, taking them into Penzance harbour where an ambulance was waiting to check them over.
A spokesman said: "Prompt action by all concerned had saved them from a very dangerous situation, and credit is due to Lucy for keeping the others away from where they may have been seriously injured.
"All three were later allowed to go home."