Published: July 13, 2013
In photos: Dramatic rescue for girls on Burnham-On-Sea jetty

Ropes and a lifeboat were used to dramatically rescue two girls from Burnham-On-Sea's jetty yesterday evening (Saturday) - eleven months after four year-old Dylan Cecil drowned at the same spot.

Faye Mays (12), April Mays (11) and Jess Woodford (13), all from Bridgwater, got into difficulty when they entered the sea for a cooling swim near the town's Pavilion at 7.30pm, but the fast-incoming tide took them by surprise and they were swept upstream.

Jess managed to scramble to the beach while Faye and April were pulled along further and managed to reach the jetty and desperately cling onto the metal chains at the end of the jetty with the sea water flowing in around them.

Eyewitness Pete Francois, who saw the incident unfold, told "The two girls were clinging onto the jetty when I arrived, shouting that the current was too strong to get back to the beach."

"I phoned 999 and asked for the Coastguard using a mobile phone and then shouted out to the girls to get them to cling onto the metal chain."

"The response of the emergency services was very quick - the Coastguards and lifeboat crew were very quickly on scene and the RNLI managed to rescue one of the girls while the other girl was brought back using ropes."

"Last year's Dylan Cecil tragedy is still fresh in everyone's minds and it flashed through my mind when I saw these two girls clinging onto the jetty. I am just so relieved that they were successfully rescued."

Faye and April's mother, Tracy, told "They are sensible children and were unlucky to get into difficulty. They did the right thing in swimming with the current, rather than against it. They managed to grab hold of the jetty, but it was so slimy that they couldn't climb out - they had to hold on to the metal chain until help arrived."

"We are so grateful to the Coastguards, lifeboat crew and others who helped - they did a super job."

Edwin Napper, a friend of the family, added: "The girls went swimming from the beach near the pier but got pulled upstream by the current and managed to reach the jetty and cling on."

"I was so relieved to see them rescued, especially after last summer, and thank the rescue services for their quick reaction."

Lifeboat Operations Manager Ricky Holmes adde: "Two girls were recovered from the sea at the town jetty. Both were in imminent danger of being swept further upstream by the incoming tide. The crew responded extremely quickly with the D-class lifeboat Puffin being launched within six minutes of being paged. This just goes to highlight the possible hazards of swimming in tidal waters. We would ask people to check the tide times before safely entering the water."

Pictured: Above, the relieved girls - Faye, April and Jess - after Saturday's rescue incident on Burnham's jetty


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