PARENTS of two school girls who became trapped on a beach by the fast incoming tide have spoken of their relief after a police helicopter airlifted them to safety.
Lauren Barnes and her friend Rebecca Cook, both 12, were found sheltering in a cove to avoid the tides and incoming waves after getting stuck on the beach in Easington Colliery.
Luckily Rebecca had her mobile phone on her and was able to raise an alarm by calling the police and giving brief details of where they were.
When the police tried to call her back the phone kept diverting to voicemail, but luckily the helicopter spotted them and picked them up before they suffered any injuries.
The families of both girls were hugely relieved to have them back safe and well after such a frightening ordeal.
But Lauren’s mum, Barbara Barnes, 37, said if it wasn’t for the mobile phone, it could have been a lot worse.
“Now that I can breathe properly again and the whole thing is over and done with I’m just relieved it wasn’t any worse,” said Barbara, also mum of twins Megan and Tori, 10, who lives in Easington Colliery.
“I always tell Lauren to carry her mobile no matter where she goes, you just never know when you might need it.
“But the water got into Lauren’s phone and it turned itself off, luckily Rebecca had hers and they were both sensible enough to call for help.”
Rebecca’s mum, Michelle, said: “I felt hysterical when I found out what was happening but I’m glad they are both safe and well.”
The pair went out for a walk on the beach shortly before the alarm was raised at 7.30pm on Wednesday.
The girls, who are both students at Easington Community Science College, hadn’t noticed the fast incoming tide and by the time they realised they were unable to turn back.
Barbara, who works as a part time shop assistant, added: “It’s just so scary to think what could have happened.
“If they hadn’t had a mobile phone they would have been relying on someone spotting them.
“If that hadn’t have happened, well I don’t even want to think about that.”
Barbara praised both girls for the way they dealt with the ordeal.
“Obviously they aren’t used to being in a situation like that,” Barbara added.
“At that age you don’t necessarily look out for the dangers, but they definitely will be in the future.”