Two brothers have been praised by the RNLI team at Newquay after they used their lifeguard training to help rescue a woman.
It's believed the woman and her dog had been washed into the water between Little Fistral and Towan Head.
The volunteer crews of the two Newquay RNLI lifeboats were alerted to the incident just after 6 yesterday evening.
Meanwhile Martin and Dave Marney, two brothers who run a local surf school Blue Wings, were with their families by the old coastguard lookout on Towan Head when they noticed the woman in the water.
Both experienced swimmers with lifeguard qualifications, they immediately ran down to the beach, stripped to their underwear, grabbed a lifebelt and starting swimming out through the two metre surf that was dumping in on the rocks around them.
When they reached the casualty, some 60 metres from the shore, they managed to get the lifebelt around her and then started heading towards the beach.
Dave Marney said: "We got the ring on to her and then decided we needed to get her back in to the shore as quickly as possible.
"It was then that a coastguard called us on a loud hailer telling us to stay outside the surf line as the lifeboat was on its way.
"There was a six foot surf running and so to come back through those conditions would have been difficult."
When the inshore lifeboat crew arrived they found the three at the back of the surf line and helped them into the boat. By this time the brothers had been in the water for 25 minutes.
The woman was then airlifted to hospital while the two brothers were brought back to the lifeboat station where they were treated for cold.
Martin Marney said: "We had started to get a bit chilly when the lifeboat crew arrived. It was a brilliant relief when we saw the lifeboat and it had helped that the coastguard kept calling to us on the progress of the emergency services.
"Our adrenalin was running and that also helped. We are just so glad we were there and that the woman is all right."
The dog, Ollie, made it back to the shore unaided.
Andrew Trebilcock, RNLI volunteer helm at Newquay, met the brothers today to thank them for their efforts.
He said: "We wouldn't usually advise people to go into the water to help in such conditions, but Martin and Dave knew what they were doing, were strong swimmers and had lifeguard qualifications.
"They certainly saved the woman's life, keeping her safe until we arrived to get them all out of the water. I'm glad to have been able to meet them again today and thank them for what they did."