Life of teenage girl pulled from the sea in Whitley Bay saved by surf shop's staff and passers-by

Members of the public helped save the life of a 15-year-old girl in Whitley Bay after she got into difficulty in the water with her friends.
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Shortly before 4pm on Saturday, the teenager was pulled from the water in a critical condition and received emergency first aid from passers-by and employees of surf shop Northerly Swell.

Shore-based rescue team Tynemouth Volunteer Life Brigade, RNLI lifeguards, St John Ambulance volunteers stationed at Whitley Bay Carnival, and emergency services also assisted with the incident.

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After realising the girl was in distress, two men already in the water kept her afloat, and she was brought to shore with the assistance of two other men who entered the water.

The incident happened on the beach in Whitley Bay.The incident happened on the beach in Whitley Bay.
The incident happened on the beach in Whitley Bay.

A nurse on the beach, who was the spouse of one of the men who pulled the girl from the sea, began providing CPR, and other members of the public came forward to assist.

An instructor from Northerly Swell alerted lifeguards on the beach to the situation, and they were able to provide oxygen support to the teenager until an ambulance arrived.

A stand-up paddleboard from the surf shop was used as a makeshift stretcher to get the girl from the beach to the ambulance, so that she could be transferred to hospital.

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In a post on Facebook, Northerly Swell said: “In recognition of their heroism, the individuals involved were provided with warm hoodies from Northerly Swell and enjoyed hot beverages courtesy of Di Meo's.

“This incident showcased the remarkable willingness of both the public and emergency services to spring into action during a time of crisis.

“Thanks to their collective efforts the life of the young girl was saved and her friends, who were treated for shock, were spared potential tragedy.”

A friend of the 15-year-old pulled from the sea collapsed following the incident. She and the other girls were taken to hospital by a second ambulance for further checks.

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A North East Ambulance Service spokesperson said: "We were called to reports of an incident at Central Lower Promenade in Whitley Bay shortly before 4pm on Saturday, 27 May.

"We dispatched two ambulance crews, a rapid response paramedic, and a clinical team leader, and transported four patients to Northumbria Specialist Emergency Care Hospital.

“A fifth patient was also assessed on scene and made their own way to hospital."

In a social media post, Tynemouth Volunteer Life Brigade said: “Following a sad number of fatalities and serious incidents in the sea and inland water in recent days, we would encourage all those intending to go to the coast to act carefully and responsibly.

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“RNLI lifeguards are now stationed on all four of the beaches in North Tyneside and swimming between their red and yellow flags is highly recommended.

“While the weather has improved, the sea temperature remains low and the risk of cold water shock is very high at this time of the year.

“We would encourage anyone going into the sea to take their time in allowing their body to acclimate and avoid going straight into a swim or out of their depth.”

The brigade has experienced a busy few days, going on to attend a fall in Tynemouth later that day and being dispatched to locate and observe a broken-down speedboat near St Mary’s Island on Monday.

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