Near-tragedy as teenagers pulled from sea

A lifebuoy in South Bay, where they were used to rescue a group of teenagers.
A lifebuoy in South Bay, where they were used to rescue a group of teenagers.

Passers-by have prevented another seafront tragedy by throwing life rings to a group of stricken teenagers - just yards from where tragic Andrew McGeown perished.

Scarborough’s South Bay waves battered the five youths, before strangers hurled life rings to the desperate group .

Lifeguard sources say the public’s quick thinking “almost certainly” saved lives.

Despite the sunshine, Thursday afternoon’s drama unfolded in choppy conditions.

Scarborough lifeguards initially claimed the teenagers had been dragged into the sea by a wave as they played on the seafront, although other sources say the youngsters were wearing wetsuits and were ‘foolishly’ playing in the water when they got into trouble.

A wave-dodging warning’s still been issued though and lifeguard manager Chris Ward admitted: “It could have been very, very serious.”

Two of the youths managed to get out of the water unaided, but three needed the public to rescue them.

“It wasn’t the best time to be out at sea,” added Mr Ward.

“We had the lifeboat on standby, but it takes just 20 seconds to drown, especially in freezing conditions.”

The near-tragedy occurred near the Clock Cafe on Thursday afternoon, and comes just months after popular Andrew McGeown lost his life near the spot.

The 32-year-old died trying to rescue his dog, Arnold.

Just this week, The Scarborough News revealed his family had created a legacy fund to help improve water safety on the Yorkshire Coast to ensure others don’t suffer the same fate.

After his inquest heard a life ring was the “only chance” he had of being rescued, his family announced they were campaigning to get more dotted along the seafront.

The youths, who are not local, were not thought to have sustained any serious injured in the water, although their current condition is unknown.

Were you on the seafront? Did you help rescue the teenagers? Call (01723) 860166 or email newsdesk@jpress.co.uk