Swept away family rescued by lifeboat

This photograph of the family was taken moments before the accident
This photograph of the family was taken moments before the accident

A Hebden Bridge father was left in shock after he watched his 20-year-old son, along with other relatives, being swept away to sea following a “very strong” rip tide.

Five family members were playing on various bouyancy devices when the waves at Beadnell Bay, Northumberia, changed direction causing the current to pull the two teenagers and three adults out to sea.

David Sheard, whose son Isaac Sheard was rescued after being dragged out to sea, said: “They were playing in the water and it all happened very quickly.

“A large set of waves completely changed and took them by surprise dragging them out.”

Moments later after the frantic family, who were on the beach, raised the alarm, two lifeboats were launched from Seahouses - four miles from the bay.

RNLI crews later recovered the group, pulling the family out of the water.

“When the rescue boat returned, there were floods of tears and it was a massive relief for our family.

“ It was quite emotional,” added David.

“We were unbelievably grateful for the fact that everyone was wearing some kind of buoyancy device. Everyone either had a wetsuit, body board or jacket on and that helped because they were out there for nearly an hour.

“I cannot say enough how good the RNLI were. The response was fantastic.”

Ambulance crews checked everyone over after they arrived at the scene and three of the five relatives were taken to Wansbeck Hopsital, Ashington near Newcastle for treatment for shock, possible hypothermia and salt water ingestion - a fatal condition that can cause secondary drowning up to 24 hours after.

The family were on holiday when the incident occurred and now one of the relatives from the beach, who did not want to be named, is warning people about the dangerous rip tides.

“Had they not acted bravely and sensibly in their situation, I fear that they would not have been in such good condition when the lifeboat brought them to safety.

“I strongly support that the wider public should know about the dangers of the sea.”

Two other people had drifted away from the group in the incident but were rescued unharmed by people on the beach.

RNLI Seahouses Lifeboat operations manager Ian Clayton, said: “It took us eight to ten minutes to reach the group and we got there in the nick of time.”