Lifeguards say a dramatic rescue operation saved dozens of children after a sandbank collapsed and plunged 40 people into freezing waters in Wales.

Three lifeguards led efforts to rescue 36 children and four adults who fell into the sea when the banking was washed away in the tourist resort of Tenby, in western Wales.

Coast guard officials said on Sunday that the volunteer lifeguards had undoubtedly saved lives in the incident on Saturday.

The group had been on a walk, but became stranded on a sandbank that is often swept away as the tide comes in.

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution said the group quickly became "out of their depth in what are treacherous waters."

An air ambulance and two ambulance crews treated several of the group for minor injuries.