Hero lifeguard plucks teen to safety from Sea Palling riptide

Max Moore, a lifeguard at Sea Palling, who has been hailed a hero for saving a 14-year-old girl. PICTURE: RNLI/Philly Byrde.

A teenage lifeguard became an instant hero this afternoon when he saved the life of a 14-year-old girl who was swept out to sea by a lethal riptide.

The girl, from Northampton, who is believed to be called Courtney, was walking along a sandbar off Sea Palling with a male family friend when the tide pulled the pair underwater and dragged them 50 metres off shore.

Unable to swim, she battled to stay afloat as her energy was sapped, with her friend clinging to her in a desperate bid to keep her head above the waves.

With the pair rapidly tiring, Courtney was in mortal danger - and the man faced the dreadful choice of whether to stay with her and risk both their lives or swim to shore and leave her.

As the seconds ticked by, 19-year-old lifeguard Max Moore swam to the rescue.

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Max, from Trunch, has been patrolling Sea Palling beach for four summer seasons and quickly reached Courtney and used a float to take her to shore.

The man was able to get back on his own, while Max treated Courtney, who was in shock and had swallowed a lot of water.

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Courtney was not believed to be seriously hurt, but was taken to the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital.

Lifeguard manager Vince Pank said: 'A lifeguard's work is mostly preventative: thanks to Max spotting the emerging danger he was well positioned to respond quickly when the incident happened.'

He added some safety advice: 'When you arrive at the beach, have a chat to lifeguards about local hazards. They have identified the area between the red and yellow flags as a safe place to swim.'

? For more on this story, see tomorrow's EDP.

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