Two teenage swimmers who got caught in a rip current off the Tynemouth coast were saved by a couple of Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) lifeguards.
The girls, both aged about 14, were struggling outside the red and yellow flags – the safe area in which to swim – at King Edward’s Bay on Wednesday afternoon.
RNLI lifeguard Paul Reeve was patrolling on the beach and he spotted them in the sea at around 12.55pm.
He immediately grabbed his rescue board and swam out to help. The teenagers were in difficultly 100 metres off the shore towards the south end of the bay.
Paul found the two girls in a state of exhaustion, as they had been swimming against the rip current.
He managed to rescue them onto his board and pulled them away from the rip.
Fellow lifeguard Will Hogg joined the rescue and towed one of the teenagers to safety with the help of a flexible rescue tube, which she was able to hold onto.
Once the girls were back on the beach, a ‘casualty care check’ was carried out. It found that they were free from injury, but very tired following their ordeal.
They were given some friendly safety advice before receiving the all-clear.
RNLI lifeguard supervisor Sandy Kerr said: “Both lifeguards did a fantastic job and acted swiftly, whilst maintaining a cool head.
“If they hadn’t been there keeping watch, the story may not have had such a happy outcome.
“Rips are strong currents running out to sea, which can take even the most experienced of swimmers from the shallows out of their depth.
“If you find yourself caught in a rip, raise your hand and shout for help.
“Never try to swim directly against the rip or you’ll get exhausted – swim parallel to the beach.
“The best advice to try to avoid this is to visit a lifeguarded beach and always swim between the red and yellow flags.”
For further sea safety advice, visit rnli.org/RespectTheWater