Dramatic rescue of girls drifting to sea in kayak

Sandend Beach, where the rescue took place. Picture: Flickr/CC
Sandend Beach, where the rescue took place. Picture: Flickr/CC
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A SURFING instructor yesterday revealed details of his dramatic rescue of two unsupervised girls who drifted out to sea in an inflatable kayak.

A SURFING instructor has told how he dramatically rescued two unsupervised girls who drifted out to sea in an inflatable kayak.

Kevin Anderson, 23, had been teaching a class when he spotted the youngsters being swept away from the shoreline.

And when he realised they would not be able to get back he paddled out to reach them on his surfboard before towing them back to safety.

The rescue took place at Sandend Beach near Cullen, Moray, last Thursday.

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Mr Anderson, from Elgin, said: “The children seemed oblivious to the danger they could have been in, but if the wind had picked up just a few miles more it could have blown them out to sea.”

The girls, who were aged about 12 to 14, were not being supervised and appeared to have little understanding of the dangers of their actions.

Mr Anderson said he had noticed them going into the water with their boat when he was giving a lesson and had kept an eye on their activity.

He said: “To begin with they were in the shallows which was not a problem, but later on I saw them going straight out into deeper waters. Before long they were really looking quite small in the distance.

“It appeared that to begin with they had someone watching them, but when they got in to trouble nobody was there.”

Taking matters into his own hands, the instructor told his own students to leave the water and be prepared to call for the coastguard if it was needed.

He then paddled his surfboard out and pulled the girls back to dry land using a leash.

He added: “They were wearing lifejackets but otherwise their clothing was not appropriate and if something happened to the craft they may not have lasted too long before hypothermia set in. I don’t think they understood the gravity of what could have happened and it was lucky that our class was taking place nearby.

“When I met them in the water they were still completely oblivious to the risk they had put themselves in.

“I asked them to show me how they would paddle back against the wind and when they tried they really couldn’t make much headway.”

Mr Anderson runs the Riding High surfing school at beaches across Moray and is also trained as a beach lifeguard.

He said: “I wouldn’t encourage anyone else to do what I did, as that could just create more of a problem.

“I was only able to help because I have received some very specific training. The sea can be a very safe place, but with the right amount of knowledge.

The owners of the nearby Sandend Caravan Park said the drama had become a hot topic among residents but confirmed the girls were not guests there.

Manager Jane Winfield said: “People here are quite well warned of the dangers the sea can pose, but we believe those involved were day visitors.

“If not for Mr Anderson having the foresight to go out to them it could have turned out a lot worse.”