A teenager narrowly escaped drowning at Exmouth beach in Devon after becoming trapped in a deep hole he had dug in the sand. The incident occurred just after 5pm on Thursday, prompting a significant response from emergency services, including the coastguard, fire, police, and ambulance crews. Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service reported receiving a call about a “man trapped in sand with an incoming tide.”
Drew Parkinson, coastguard area commander for south Devon and southeast Cornwall, posted on Twitter about the “HUGE emergency services response” and praised the efforts of both the public and emergency services in preventing the individual from drowning as the tide came in. Exmouth Fire Station also expressed gratitude to a retired fire officer who happened to be nearby and made life-saving decisions.
The teenager was taken to hospital, and Exmouth Fire Station issued a warning against digging deep holes on beaches. They explained that the situation was exacerbated by the rising tide and the quicksand effect created by the combination of sand and water. The fire service also highlighted the dangers of sand, which can be heavier than it appears, potentially leading to crushing or suffocation. They noted that previous incidents involving large holes and trenches have often resulted in body recovery operations rather than casualty rescues.
This incident occurred on the same day that a 15-year-old girl’s body was found in a reservoir in Merseyside. The girl had been swimming with friends at Carr Mill Dam in St Helens when she encountered difficulties. Her death is not being treated as suspicious. Additionally, a 12-year-old girl and a 17-year-old boy lost their lives on Wednesday off Bournemouth beach, leading to the arrest of a man on suspicion of manslaughter.
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