Children rescued after ignoring red flag
TWO CHILDREN swimming in the sea off Dénia's Las Rotas beach despite the red 'danger' flag flying had to be rescued on Sunday morning, putting lifeguards' own safety at risk.
The boys, aged 10 and 11, were not accompanied by any adult and ignored Red Cross representatives who ordered them to get out of the water.
They were then hit by a sudden strong wave and dragged away by the current.
Two lifeguards dived in from their cliffside watch post, since the sea was so choppy it was not safe to send out a boat.
A rescue helicopter was called in as backup.
A Belgian man, a profes- sional swimmer, who was in the area also helped rescue the boys.
One of the lifeguards suffered a panic attack and then fainted from the sheer physical effort involved in battling against the current.
They were not legally obliged to enter the water, as the red flag was flying, but in practice very few lifeguards would choose not to do so if a bather was in trouble – meaning they are putting their own lives in danger by helping.
The children's parents or guardians will be traced and contacted, as ignoring a red flag attracts fines of up to €1,500.