A grateful and relieved parent thanked the man who helped save her daughter’s life when she got into trouble on Lossiemouth’s East Beach on Friday.
Another warm and sunny day brought hundreds to the Moray beauty spot – but a day frolicking on the beach almost turned to tragedy for the 11-year-old girl.
Aberdeen Coastguard were alerted when the girl and two young boys found themselves in trouble on a turning tide. Police say that they were alerted just after 4.45pm when an ambulance on the scene requested their assistance.
Also on the scene were coastguard rescuers from Lossiemouth and Burghead while a RAF Rescue helicopter was also called from the nearby air station.
However, by the time the rescue services arrived Elgin man Rich Stinson had already jumped into the water and helped the young girl to safety while the two boys managed to make their own way back onto the beach shocked but unharmed.
Posting on the insideMoray Facebook page, the 11-year-old’s mother, Sarah Quirie, said: “A big thank you to all that were involved with rescuing my daughter today. She is doing well but is still upset.”
Speaking earlier Elouise Tomlin, who helped in the rescue, said: “Thank you to absolutely everybody that was involved in rescuing her today.
“Without quick reaction from people on the beach, it would have been a different story. Just another warning to everyone how quick the current can change and turns very dangerous. Her family are with her just now and expected to make a full recovery.”
Speaking of the role played by Mr Stinson she added: “He literally saved the day – we were in the water with him and he told us exactly what to do to get her to safety. We are eternally grateful for his quick thinking.”
Mr Stinson’s wife Ailsa paid her own tribute to her husband, saying: “I know he’s going to be embarrassed, but words can’t describe how immensely proud I am of Rich for selflessly diving in to the water, swimming out to sea and saving a drowning girl’s life this afternoon.
“I can’t believe how brave he was. I’m still shaking with shock.”
Local community councillor Carolle Ralph expressed her relief that the little girl had been rescued and was recovering well – but warned of the hidden dangers. She said: “Thankfully it seems that all has ended well.
“I would appeal to people to please be careful at the East Beach, every year for as long as I can remember someone has been in trouble off the breakwater and lives have been lost.”