Young girls swept out to sea on inflatable
Coastguard rescue mission as fun day at the beach turns to panic
A rescue was launched when an Angus beach trip almost turned to tragedy yesterday.
Two teenage girls were saved after being swept out to sea on an inflatable pink flamingo off Montrose beach.
The father of one of the girls was also pulled to safety after going in to try to help the teenagers as the lunchtime drama unfolded.
Montrose Coastguard area commander Ross Greenhill and deputy station officer Scott Constantine were involved in the rescue mission.
Mr Greenhill said: “It could have been fatal quite honestly.”
All three were taken to Ninewells Hospital after the incident which happened around 1.15pm.
The girls ingested water after letting go of the inflatable when they got out of their depth and were left exhausted.
The pink flamingo was blown some distance offshore as a result of the fierce wind.
The Montrose lifeboat was also launched but by the time they reached the scene a few minutes later the father and two children were safely out of the water.
Rescuers averted a drowning tragedy in Angus yesterday when they pulled two teenage girls from the sea.
The pair were rescued after being swept out to sea on an inflatable pink flamingo off Montrose beach on a bright sunny day which brought hundreds of people to the beauty spot.
The father of one of the girls was also pulled to safety after going in to try to save them.
All three were taken to Ninewells Hospital in Dundee by ambulance for a check-up.
Montrose Coastguard area commander Ross Greenhill and deputy station officer Scott Constantine, whose station is situated directly behind where the incident happened, were involved in the lunchtime rescue mission.
Mr Greenhill said: “It could have been fatal, quite honestly.
“It is dangerous out there – especially when you get out of your depth.”
A couple were enjoying a day at the beach with their daughter and her friends when the drama unfolded around 1.25pm.
The teenage girl and her friend went out on the water on an inflatable pink flamingo but were quickly swept out to sea due to the fierce wind.
Mr Greenhill said: “The dad said to get off it – unfortunately that wasn’t the best thing to do. They have both gone under the water and ingested a bit of water.”
The wind speed was such that the inflatable went tumbling through the air once they came off it.
They tried to swim to shore and the girl’s father went into the water to try to get them.
The girl’s mother phoned 999 and Mr Greenhill and Mr Constantine raced to the beach after the alarm was raised.
Mr Constantine went into the water and managed to get everybody back to shore safety.
The girls had taken in “a bit of water” and were described as being exhausted and shocked as a result of their ordeal.
Mr Greenhill said the incident highlighted the dangers of taking an inflatable into the sea. He said that if people are on an inflatable they should never let go of it. The Montrose lifeboat was also launched but by the time they reached the scene a few minutes later the father and two children were out of the water.
The lifeboat crew recovered the inflatable.
A spokesman for RNLI Montrose confirmed that a call had come in suggesting a father and two children were in difficulty.
“We want people to enjoy the good weather but to still be alert to the dangers,” he continued. “This could have been much more serious.”
Police also attended the incident to help control the crowds at the beach.
A Maritime and Coastguard Agency spokesman said: “We recently put out a safety message about inflatables.
“The message was that inflatables are great fun at a swimming pool but we don’t recommend their use at the seaside.
“They can easily be blown out to sea which is probably what happened today.
“If you do see someone being blown out to sea, call 999 and ask for the coastguard.”
Coastguard area commander Ross Greenhill at the scene of the incident.