THE mother of a 12-year-old who nearly drowned in the sea with her friend has thanked the men who saved their lives and issued a warning to other parents.
Michelle Ion was sunbathing on the beach opposite the Langham Hotel during last week’s glorious weather as her daughter Lauren Jones and her friend Jasmine Andrews enjoyed the first week of the school holidays by splashing around in the sea.
The friends, who are both 12 and live in Old Town, had not realised the wind was getting up on Thursday afternoon (July 26) and the youngsters suddenly became overwhelmed by the waves.
Michelle said, “I was lying there on the beach and I don’t know why but I just felt something was wrong.
“So I sat up and my gut instincts were right because the girls were just being smashed against the groynes.
“The water was like a vacuum and they were being submerged and couldn’t get back up. I jumped up and ran in myself and the waves knocked me flying, so I started screaming for help.”
Two men, one in his 50s and one in his 40s, heard Michelle’s screams for help and ran in to the water to save the girls.
The two unknown men dragged the frightened girls from the rough seas and now mum Michelle wants to say thank you.
She said, “I did thank them at the time, but the girls were so shaken up I just wanted to get them home as soon as possible.
“It was just awful, and I would like to thank those two men who saved the girls.
“I would like to say a personal thank you and maybe buy them a beer because they saved their lives that day.”
Michelle says the incident has made her think twice about letting the girls swim in the sea, even when the sun is shining and the beaches are packed.
She said, “It was a real lesson learned – for me and the girls.
“Lauren is worried about going back in the sea, so I am planning to take her down to the beach because I don’t want her to have to live with that fear for the rest of her life.”
r Were you one of the heroes who rescued the girls from the waves? Call reporter Juliet Perry on 01323 414484 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.