A WOMAN was rescued from the sea by two of her friends and a quick-thinking member of staff from a beachside bar and grill in Sandown.
Chef and supervisor, Cameron Ware, was on duty at the Driftwood Beach Bar on Culver Parade when he saw two women rush into the sea to pull their friend, in her 50s, from the waves in front of shocked customers last night (Friday).
Cameron, 21, of Bembridge, ran down to the shoreline to carry the woman, who fell unconscious, onto the sand and made sure she was breathing and did not go into hypothermic shock, before the Isle of Wight Ambulance Service and the Bembridge Coastguard Rescue Team arrived to take over her care.
Cameron, son of the Driftwood’s owner, Sean Ware, said: “The woman was part of a small group who came for a meal and enjoyed drinks afterwards. She seemed happy and bubbly.
“At some point she went to the toilet, then she took off her shoes and walked towards the sea. That wasn’t unusual. She looked like she was going for a paddle.
“Not long afterwards, I noticed her friend had gone into the sea after her, when she was up to her waist.
“By the time she reached her, she was up to her chin and was dragging her back to the shore, with another friend helping. That’s when I really noticed something was wrong.
“I ran down to help. The woman was unconscious when I took over, in the sea, near the beach.
“I put her in the recovery position and shouted to staff for blankets — which we normally use to keep customers and staff warm when it gets chilly — and covered her.
“She was breathing and she came round, which was a massive relief.
“The ambulance arrived, followed by the coastguard, about 15 minutes later.”
It is not the first time Cameron has been involved in an incident in which someone has got into difficulties at sea.
About two years ago, he pulled the body of a man from the sea, from almost the same spot in Sandown, but the man had drowned.
“It is dangerous to swim in the dark, especially after drinking alcohol. The woman was lucky her friends got to her when she did,” said Cameron.
“It only takes seconds under the water to drown.”
The ambulance took the woman to St Mary’s Hospital in Newport.
The Bembridge Coastguard Rescue Team assisted ambulance crew at the scene. Their counterparts from Ventnor were stood down en route to Sandown.
- If you see someone in difficulty on the Island coast, call 999 and ask for the coastguard.