LIFEGUARDS saved the lives of three teenagers who got into difficulties in the sea at South Shields - less than a week after a swimmer died a couple of miles away.
The Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) guards leapt into action at Sandhaven beach when they spotted three swimmers in difficulty around 40 metres out to sea.
The incident occurred at 4pm on Friday, but details have only just been released.
The swimmers had been caught in a powerful rip current and were struggling to stay afloat.
Senior RNLI lifeguard Drew Davis immediately swam out to help, and managed to bring in two of the swimmers with the aid of a rescue tube - a long yellow flexible tube which people can grab onto.
Lifeguard Fraser Davis - Drew’s brother - also swam out and managed to rescue the other swimmer from the rip current.
Phil Richie, a lifeguard from nearby Mowbray beach, also waded into the sea to aid the rescue.
Two other lifeguards, Hannah Cobble and Sean Mills, remained at the shore’s edge, standing by with the charity’s medical trauma bag.
The three rescued swimmers - two youths and a woman, all aged 17 - were given blankets to warm them up and the lifeguards checked their breathing rates and made them stable and comfortable.
All three had swallowed a considerable amount of water, and an ambulance was called. After spending an hour checking them over, the paramedics gave them the all-clear.
Drew Davis said: “It was a real team effort, and our comprehensive RNLI training meant we were able to deal with the situation quickly and effectively.”
‘We’re pleased that the swimmers made a quick recovery, but we would always urge people visiting the beach to swim between the red and yellow flags and to approach the lifeguards for advice on things such as tide times.”
The incident happened just four days after Billy Symcox, 36, from Whiteleas, South Shields, died after apparently having a heart attack while swimming in the sea at Marsden.