Schoolgirl battered and bruised after she was swept out to sea and thrown against rocks in Porthcawl

A 12-year-old schoolgirl said she “would have died” without the quick-thinking of an off-duty lifeguard when she got into difficulty in the sea.

At around 6pm on Monday, September 14, Megan Gulliford went to Rest Bay, Porthcawl, to paddle in the water but the picturesque scene soon turned into a nightmare.

Megan’s sister Cerys, 18, watched in horror from the beach as her younger sister struggled to swim back to shore before being pushed repeatedly onto jagged rocks causing her injuries to her arms, legs and side.

Megan, from Bridgend, said: “I went down to the beach and I was in the water up to my ribs. My sister kept telling me to come back but I couldn’t move.

“Every time I tried to swim I kept going backwards – I was getting really scared. I was screaming and crying and I could hear my sister screaming for me and our dog barking.

“I thought I was going to die. I was swimming as strongly as I could, I’m quite a good swimmer but I wasn’t strong enough.”

Megan suffered extensive cuts to arms and legs as she was thrown against the rocks
(Image: Pippa Gulliford)

She said it would have been worse without the help of an off-duty lifeguard
(Image: Pippa Gulliford)

Eventually, a big wave pushed Megan forward to give her “a little boost” so she could to cling to the nearest big rock.

“My eyes are sensitive and the water was getting in to them so my eyes were closed and I couldn’t see anything but I managed to grip onto the rock.

“A wave came then and chucked me over a load of rocks and hit my sister as well who came out to try and help me.

“I got cuts on my arms, legs, feet and sides but I didn’t hit my head or anything. I have no idea how longĀ  it was it went so fast.

“It feels like it was all a dream it was so unreal in the moment, I was in pure shock,” added the Bryntirion comprehensive pupil.

It happened in Rest Bay on Monday, September 14
(Image: WalesOnline/ Rob Browne)

Megan said she “would have died” without the help of a man who waded into the water to save her and carried her to the beach on his shoulers.

Megan and her mum, Pippa Gulliford, want to get in touch with the man to thank him. Although they didn’t catch his name he told them he was an off-duty lifeguard who was in the area for his mother’s funeral that day.

“I think him and his family were still in the funeral clothes. They saw all the commotion and Cerys screaming and came down to help.

“I remembered from school to put your hand up if you’re in trouble in the water and that’s maybe why he came down too.

“If he hadn’t come I would have kept being thrown into the rocks and carried out to sea. If we can find him we want to thank him and buy him a drink or something,” Megan added.

She avoided a trip to hospital but Megan was tended to at home by her nanna, a nurse, and her mum, a healthcare support worker.

Megan’s Mum, Pippa, said: “We want to thank him from the bottom of our hearts. There could have been a whole different outcome and maybe not just for only one daughter but two.

“Kids need to made aware. Megan only went out for a little paddle. You think you’re al lright just up to your knees but you can just be swept off your feet.”

Anyone who can help the family get in touch with the man who saved Megan can contact Pippa through her Facebook account.

Megan said she and Cerys, who were both suffered cuts and bruising during the incident, are having flashbacks and the man asked Megan to “promise she’ll go back” to Rest Bay but she “doesn’t think she ever can”.

Article source: https://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/wales-news/porthcawl-rnli-lifeguard-rest-bay-18943953