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RAPID RESPONSE PREVENTS DOUBLE TRAGEDY

sandownlifeboatpierA rapid response by rescue teams and members of the public secured the safety of two teenagers and prevented a double tragedy on Saturday after they got into difficulty underneath Sandown Pier.

Sandown and Shanklin Independent Lifeboat (SSILB) was paged by Solent Coastguard for an immediate launch at 21:20 on Saturday evening alongside Bembridge Coastguard Rescue team. Both were scrambled to rescue two young teenagers in the water by Sandown Pier in a heavy swell and on shore surf coming from the North East.

The two teens, one male and one female, had gone out into the sea in an inflatable, however the surf and swell knocked them over board and both started to struggle as the current was taking them out to sea and under the pier.

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Members of the public alerted the Coastguard on 999, while quick thinking staff on the pier lowered a life ring to the teenagers, then dragged them to the shore where they carried out first aid with the help of the Coastguard who were on the scene within minutes.

The two teenagers, who are unnamed, were transferred to St Mary’s Hospital by land ambulance. The male was kept in over night.

Mark Birch, Operations Manager for SSILB said:

We cannot thank enough the staff of the Pier and the public that came to help. If they didn’t, we would have been looking at a very sad story.

We would like to urge people wanting to enjoy sea to have respect and to understand their own limits. Having talked to the parents, the teenagers are very frightened and distraught about the incident.

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Photo: SSILB

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