‘Quick-thinking’ teenagers honoured for saving two sea swimmers from drowning

Eight teenagers who saved two swimmers from drowning in the sea off Hastings have been honoured.

Wednesday, 27th October 2021, 11:47 am
Updated Wednesday, 27th October 2021, 11:54 am
Teenagers Millie Marchant, Emma Sandeman, Oscar Howitt, George Mummery, Ben Sandeman, Sonny Flynn, and Louis Lewis helped save the lives of two swimmers off Hastings SUS-211027-103623001

Millie Marchant, Emma Sandeman, Oscar Howitt, George Mummery, Ben Sandeman, Sonny Flynn, Harry Fletcher and Louis Lewis, all aged between 14 and 16, were enjoying a summer’s afternoon on Hastings beach last month.

They spotted two exhausted swimmers in difficulties near the harbour arm. The bathers were being swept out to sea in a strong offshore current.

The quick-thinking youngsters threw a life ring to the swimmers.

Teenagers Millie Marchant, Emma Sandeman, Oscar Howitt, George Mummery, Ben Sandeman, Sonny Flynn, and Louis Lewis helped save the lives of two swimmers off Hastings SUS-211027-103612001

Then with the rope attached to the life ring they were able to pull the struggling bathers over to the rocks at the base of the harbour wall.

The alarm was raised, and Hasting RNLI inshore lifeboat brought the stricken swimmers to shore.

The swimmers received treatment by ambulance crew, and later made a full recovery.

This week, Hastings RNLI lifeboat station hosted a special presentation for the eight teenagers to thank them for their actions.

The youngsters met some of the Hastings crew, were given a tour of the lifeboats, and each received a framed letter of thanks, signed by Mark Dowie, Chief Executive of the RNLI.

At the presentation, Joe Mitchell, the RNLI’s Area Lifesaving Manager, said: “There is no question that your quick thinking saved the lives of those two swimmers.

“Receiving a letter of thanks from the RNLI is a rare occurrence, and it shows the level of recognition that the Institution has for what you did.

“It’s not everyone who can say, ‘I saved someone from drowning’, but all of you can, and all of you have every right to be extremely proud of what you did that afternoon.”

Andy Davy, Lifeboat Operations Manager at Hastings RNLI, added: “This area of the coastline can be a really dangerous place to swim, especially with the unseen currents flowing around the harbour wall.”

He added: “Even experienced swimmers can be caught out by the conditions offshore at Hastings and quickly get into trouble.

“We know from experience if help does not arrive quickly the outcomes can be extremely serious. On this occasion, it is no exaggeration to say that because of the quick actions of these teenagers, two people are alive and well today who otherwise would have been a drowning statistic.”

Andy said if you are near the coast and see anyone in trouble in the water, call 999 and ask for the Coastguard.