Tragedy was averted at Broughty Ferry Beach on Saturday after three teenagers rescued a group of children in difficulty in the water.
Fifteen-year-old Aiden McCormack and friends Sasha Garden and Aimee Hume, both 14, were relaxing at Broughty Castle on Saturday afternoon when they suddenly heard screams.
The group of Grove Academy pupils had been on the rocks near the castle enjoying the sun when they noticed something was wrong.
They saw three children in the water and jumped in to help them, while others called emergency services.
Describing the moment they realised they needed to act, Aimee said: “We were relaxing on the rocks beside the castle and heard the kids screaming.
“We thought they were joking about but then heard the boy shout a massive ‘help’ and could see they were struggling and getting further and further out.”
Aiden added: “I jumped down the rocks and into the water up to my waist.”
Sasha then joined Aiden in the water, whilst Aimee made sure one of their other friends had called 999 for the Coastguard before jumping in herself.
Aimee said: “We tried to grab them and pull them onto the rocks. There were lots of adults watching. When the boy’s head went under I grabbed him and went onto my back and swam with him.”
Aiden added: “Some adults threw in the floating rope thing so Sasha and me put the girls on to that while I swam with the boy.
“Then we got to the rocks and pulled them out.”
Lori Fraser, proud mum to Aiden, praised the heroic efforts of her son and his friends.
“They didn’t just jump in. I could tell they thought about it,” Lori said, explaining how Aiden had told her he knew the coastguard was on the way.
“He knew if he got into trouble too there were other people there who knew where he was.”
She also urged parents to explain the dangers of open water to young people, saying: “We grew up knowing the currents there could be dangerous.
“I’ve always been strict, and Aiden knows I am dead against him going in the water.
It was just lucky they were there, it could have been different
“It was just lucky they were there, it could have been different.”
Aiden said he had taken swimming lessons at school, but also pointed out pupils could take part in a lifeguarding course.
All three added that they were shocked but relieved following the rescue, once they knew everyone was safe.
Matthew Robertson, deputy headteacher at Grove Academy – where all three are in fourth year – praised their bravery.
“I know I speak for our whole Grove community when I say we are incredibly proud of these three,” he said.
“They embodied our school values of responsibility and determination by putting the lives of others first and not stopping until the children were safe.
“We commend the bravery of these pupils and remind everyone in the wider Broughty Ferry community to follow the advice and stay safe in and around the water.”
Open water swimming
Advice from the RNLI explains its usually best to swim at a beach where there is a lifeguard.
If this is not an option they said you should be sure to check the tide and know in particular how to spot rip currents.
If you do become stuck in a rip current, the RNLI say: “Don’t try to swim against it. If you can stand, try to wade rather than swim.
“Next, swim parallel to the shore until free of the rip and then head for shore. Raise your hand and shout for help.”