Young girls swept out to sea on in­flat­able

Coast­guard res­cue mis­sion as fun day at the beach turns to panic

The Courier & Advertiser (Angus and The Mearns Edition) - - Front Page - Graeme stra­chan

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.”

Pic­ture: Paul Smith.

Coast­guard area com­man­der Ross Greenhill at the scene of the in­ci­dent.

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