When we were rescued
AAARH’s and commenting on how clear the water was.
On Friday, the 7th of August I drove down to Folkestone for a sea swim with two friends, Jacky and Anne, to explore the area. I love a day at the seaside and was really excited to be in Folkestone as I hadn’t been there before. I was really taken by the seaside town. I loved all the Victorian history; the rejuvenation of the area has been done so well and all the artistic touches by famous artists added to the funky vibe.
We walked The Leas which is Folkestone’s promenade down to the beach and the views were breath taking. The gardens were immaculate, bright and bursting with seasonal plants. The sea was really smooth and almost like glass. With no wind and the temperatures boiling, you longed to jump in the sea. The tides and currents were checked. Anne had done this swim before with no hassles. We left Sunny Sands beach with all the right swim kit, swim goggles, bright coloured swim cap and tow floats as we were swimming to the Lighthouse which has been converted into a champagne bar. We swam out nice and slow, all sticking together. We did keep stopping to do all the OOOOO’s and AAARH’s and commenting on how clear the water was.
We also had to stop and group together because there were two very irresponsible jet skiers in the harbour. We waved the tow floats high so we could be clearly seen. Thank goodness we had them.
We reached the Lighthouse, climbed up the steps and made a grand entrance from the sea in our swimming costumes. It was quick turnaround as we were conscious of the changing tide, so headed back to the beach.
We jumped in and off we swam. We got separated very soon after being in the water. I could see Anne was not making any progress and was getting swept further and further out from the lighthouse wall. Jacky was doing well but had drifted away from us. I called Jacky to swim back to the steps which she did and she managed to get there. I then swam over to Anne and I could feel the water was powerful and with all my strength I tried to tow Anne back into towards the lighthouse. We were not making progress and you could feel the panic begin to rise. I grabbed Anne around the waist and we huddled together with the tow float. I told Anne we just have to FLOAT TO SURVIVE. The Royal Lifesaving Society Campaign, Float to Survive is something everyone should take note of. The you can’t fight water, it always wins. We would have had to float out till we could swim back in again. It’s really hard to let go. It’s hard to let go of the control.
We were so lucky it was a hot day and the Lighthouse had lots of guests and they could see the situation unfold and quickly called the manager who threw a tow buoy to us. It took five people to pull us in back to the steps.
We were lucky. We did all the right things but the sea is unpredictable. I can totally understand how quickly things can get out of hand.
Half an hour later we saw a lady climb in at the Lighthouse steps, she swam heads up breaststroke with no effort and climbed straight out with no hassles. If we had waited maybe 5 / 10 minutes the whole situation would have been a lot different, as the surge at the peak of high tide would have gone.
No matter how good a swimmer you are the sea needs to be respected.
RLSS advice: Remember Float to Survive if you are ever in difficulty.
and group together because there were two very irresponsible jet skiers in the harbour.