Teenage girls plucked from water as 20ft waves sweep them to sea

TWO young girls were swept off a harbour wall and into the sea by monstrous waves yesterday.Heroic police and members of public managed to pull the girls - aged 13 and 14 - from the 20ft seas off Eyemouth, Berwickshire.

• Two young teenage girls rescued by passers-by after being swept to sea near Eyemouth, Berwickshire

• One girl, 14, remains in critical condition after being airlifted to hospital in Edinburgh

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• Eyewitnesses describe waves so fierce that they “battered” police

The older girl was airlifted to hospital in Edinburgh after being knocked unconscious and is said to be in a serious condition.

Unconfirmed reports said the girls were sitting on the wall watching the huge waves when they were wept away.

Eyewitnesses described police getting “battered” by the fierce waters as they tried to pull one of the girls out of the water with ropes.

It is thought the two girls fell from the western wall of the harbour and in to the waters of the bay.

A spokeswoman for Lothian and Borders police said: “We were called to Eyemouth at around 13.35, to the harbour.

“It would appear that two teenage girls were pulled off the harbour wall and into the water.

“We had reports of the waves being 20ft in height.

“A 13-year-old girl was pulled out by members of the public, which was a very heroic act on their part.

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“The 14-year-old girl was knocked unconscious and the members of the public were unable to reach her.

“Our officers entered the water and pulled the girl out of the water.

“The 14-year-old was airlifted to Edinburgh Royal Infirmary, where she is in a serious condition.”

A spokesman for the Coastguard confirmed that Eyemouth lifeboat had been launched to deal with the incident.

He said: “We were called to deal with an incident when two girls were swept off a sea wall at Eyemouth.”

Shocked onlookers took to social media to describe what they saw of the daring rescue.

Salesman Stephen Rafferty, who was in the town while the rescue went on, tweeted: “Just watching the local lifeguards, police & ambulance rescue kids from #Eyemouth harbour in very strong high waves.”

Twitter user Billy McGahan said in reply to Mr Rafferty: “I’ve just heard coastguard relay at 16:20 to helimed 5 that the girl still has a pulse, but still working on her.”

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An earlier tweet from Mr Rafferty, before the incident, showing large waves in front of a seaside wall, said: “Angry waves at #Eyemouth”

Denyse Davison, who was on a trip in the town, said: “Was having a lovely day up at the caravan at Eyemouth we decided to go to the pubs and nothing could prepare you for what has just happened.

“Some kids playing on the wall in front of beach and a wave just came and scooped two little kids into sea.

“Two men jumped in and got them. So distressing!”

A woman who spoke to an eye witness said: “Police were in the sea with ropes around them.

“People were on the harbour who were holding onto the ropes as police were getting battered by the sea.

“They eventually reached her and hauled her out.

“They think she had been sitting on the wall and got swept off by a huge wave.”

The owner of a local pub, Douglas Stewart, is believed to be one of the rescuers who manned the lifeboat.

A woman who works at a The Tavern said: “There was a huge crowd of people.

“The lifeboat crew are still getting checked over by the ambulance, but it’s just routine.”