Girl rescued from beach terror

AN 11-year-old girl was plucked to safety just in the nick of time in a daring seaside rescue in the region today.The youngster trapped by shingle and screaming for her life, almost submerged by the tide as fire crews arrived at a packed Southend beach at 5.17pm.

AN 11-year-old girl was plucked to safety just in the nick of time in a daring seaside rescue in the region today.

The youngster trapped by shingle and screaming for her life, almost submerged by the tide as fire crews arrived at a packed Southend beach at 5.17pm.

Fully clothed firefighters dashed from their vehicles and dived underwater before starting to dig away with their hands to move the shingle that had her trapped her between 20 and 30 metres from the beach.

After a terrifying 20 minute rescue attempt the young girl was finally released.


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Martyn Hodder, Southend Station Commander and the officer in charge of the incident, said: “It appears from what we were told that the girl had dug a hole earlier in the wet sand and allowed it to fill with water as the tide came in.

“She was sitting down, splashing her feet around in it but when she stood up to try to leave, she was trapped by the shingle and the weight of the water.

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“Working with the RNLI team, firefighters used sand lances to pierce the vacuum and release the pressure.

“It took a good 20 minutes to release her.

“She was screaming and pleading with us not to let her drown - it was a frantic situation as she'd been out there for about an hour before the alarm was raised and was desperate but very relieved when we finally pushed down the lance that freed her."

The girl, who was playing on the beach while her great aunt sat on the parade, was taken to hospital suffering from shock, exhaustion and hypothermia.

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