Teenage girl fighting for life after being swept away by waves while playing ¿chicken¿ with the sea

  • Katie McLean, 14, was ‘wave-dodging’ with a 13-year-old friend when they were hit by a 20ft wave
  • The younger girl was pulled to safety by members of the public
  • But officers couldn’t reach Katie for 10 minutes and she is said to be in a ‘serious’ condition in hospital

By
Lucy Osborne and Sam Whyte

03:34 EST, 5 June 2012

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03:35 EST, 5 June 2012

A  teenage girl was last night fighting for her life in hospital after being swept away by waves while playing ‘chicken’ with the sea.

Katie McLean, 14, and her 13-year-old friend were ‘wave dodging’ on a harbour wall when a 20ft wave knocked them into the water,

Heroic members of public managed to pull the younger girl, who has not been named, out of the sea at Eyemouth in Berwickshire.

But schoolgirl Katie banged her head and was in the water for least 10 minutes before police officers managed to reach her and tow her to safety.

Dangerous: Katie McLean and a friend were swept away by a 20ft wave at Eyemouth beach

Dangerous: Katie McLean and a friend were swept away by a 20ft wave at Eyemouth beach

She was airlifted to hospital in Edinburgh and was last night in a serious condition.

Norman Richardson, local coastguard station officer said the girls were taking part in a dangerous game called ‘wave dodging’, where youngsters run along the wall and try to avoid being hit by the swell.

He said: ‘We were called out at 3.40 to rescue two girls who had fallen in the sea.

‘When we arrived we found that one girl had managed to get out of the water and into safety but the other was face down in the water.

‘She had been bashed against the wall and was unconscious and could have been face down for up to 20 minutes.

‘We pulled her out at which point I gave CPR in order to find a pulse and get her breathing. She was then put in the back of the ambulance while awaiting the airlift.

‘She is now said to be in a serious but stable condition.’

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

Wave-dodging: It was 10 minutes before officers were able to reach Katie. She is said to be in a serious condition in hospital

Wave-dodging: It was 10 minutes before officers were able to reach Katie. She is said to be in a serious condition in hospital

Battered: Police had to battle fierce waves to rescue one of the girls from the water with ropes

Battered: Police had to battle fierce waves to rescue one of the girls from the water with ropes

Hero: Coast guard Norman Richardson gave CPR to one of the girls

Hero: Coastguard Norman Richardson gave CPR to one of the girls

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 1.35pm, 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.’

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.’

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!’
 

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The comments below have been moderated in advance.

I live close to eyemouth and that harbour is just an accident waiting to happen,there are no handrails along the pier just a sheer drop in to water,a couple of years ago an oap wandered along and fell in,if a wave comes over the sea wall there is nothing there for you to grab to stop yourself getting washed over the side.

Well done to the lifeguards and Police Officers rescuing the girl from the sea.

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