Holiday makers’ thank you to mystery surfers who saved their children

08:30 07 August 2013

Tim, 16 (left), and Michael, 13, were playing in the sea when they realised they couldn

Tim, 16 (left), and Michael, 13, were playing in the sea when they realised they couldn't get back to the beach

Archant

A HOLIDAYMAKER has praised the efforts of three quick-thinking surfers who saved her children from being washed out to sea.

Mum Yuliya Johnson and her husband Ian, on a family holiday from Derby, watched on helplessly as their two sons, Tim, 16, and Michael, 13, fought strong waves and a powerful rip current at Woolacombe.

The children – both competent pool swimmers – had been happily jumping around in the waves on a quieter part of the beach – outside the zone patrolled by RNLI lifeguards.

To the horror of their panicked parents, the brothers were swept out to sea in a matter of minutes.

“It all happened so quickly,” said Yuliya.

“The current was so strong and pulled them away so quickly.

“I went into the water fully dressed, screaming ‘please come back!’ I was hysterical but useless.

“My husband stood on the sand frozen. We were very close to losing both children to the sea.”

To their relief, a young girl surfing nearby spotted the boys and raised the alarm to two adult surfers, who brought them back to shore.

“I want to say a massive thank you again to those people for saving my kids. God Bless them,” said Yuliya.

“That little girl was reassuring them all along. Those people are my heroes now. I did not even ask their names, I was so shocked and distressed.

“I also want to say to other parents that children are proud of their swimming achievements in school but you need to be aware of the dangers of swimming in the sea. It’s not the same thing.”

The RNLI and Amateur Swimming Association recently joined forces to pilot a scheme to teach children how to cope in such situations.

The ‘Swim Safe’ initiative is offering 3,000 seven to 14-year olds advice on how to stay safe in the sea, running throughout August in Bude.

Will Stephens, RNLI Coastal Safety Manager, said: “Children account for around two-thirds of incidents the charity’s lifeguards respond to.

“We’re hoping this programme will equip children with valuable knowledge and skills so they can have fun but stay safe in and around the sea.”

Last year nearly half of the environmental incidents dealt with by RNLI lifeguards involved rip currents.

Lifeguards advise beach-goers to always swim between the red and yellow flags, patrolled areas identified as the safest on the beach.

0 comments

Other News Stories

07:10
Jasmine Chesters with some of the crop at Ashford Fruit Farm

A North Devon fruit farm is overflowing with strawberries during one of its best years ever.

Read more
Yesterday, 16:06
The models with show supporters from Saltrock and CLIC Sargent.

Stills tickets available for the show tonight (Friday) at Orchard Vale School in Barnstaple

Read more
Yesterday, 14:12
With the new 'Maurice' trophies are Arlene Collins and Oliver McCarron of Marsdens, plus (centre), Heather McNeilly of Shoreline Glass.

Don’t miss Ilfracombe’s tastiest food festival on Saturday, July 11

Read more
Yesterday, 13:58
Inside Infinity. Picture: Tony Edmonds

Family fun at Infinity this Saturday night as Ilfracombe’s new after dark venue hosts its public launch party...

Read more
Yesterday, 13:51
Queens Avenue residents gather at the play area site, which is under threat from development.

Queens Avenue residents dismayed at North Devon Homes plans to build on green space

Read more
Yesterday, 09:37
Picture by Graham Hobbs

Cannon firing marked the start of Bideford Heritage Week last weekend - with Heritage Day this Saturday.

Read more
Yesterday, 09:30
Race for Life in Barnstaple.

Hundreds of women will be turning Barnstaple pink for Cancer Research UK this Sunday.

Read more
Yesterday, 09:25
Fremington para-powerlifter Ross Austen (centre) took the gold medal at the British Championships

Ross Austen, 33, took up power lifting this year after sustaining injuries to his right leg during active service. Now he’s going for gold.

Read more
Yesterday, 09:21
Coopers Jewellery in Barnstaple High Street

Man appeared before magistrates yesterday (Thursday) morning in connection with Barnstaple incident

Read more
Thu, 16:29
The puma kittens make their first public appearance. Picture: John Hammond

Cute cats make an early first appearance to enjoy the summer sunshine

Read more

Local Weather

Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 20°C

min temp: 13°C

Most Read News

Great British Life


Great British Life

Advertise in the paper
Submit a Story
Subscribe to the paper
Competitions
North Devon Football League
Order Photos
Family notices
iwitness24
Facebook
Twitter
Google Plus Page
Reader Travel

Family Notices 24

Digital Edition

Image
Read the North Devon Gazette e-edition today E-edition



North Devon's trusted business finder