A warning has been issued after a 9-year-old girl was pulled out to sea by a riptide at one of Ireland’s most scenic beaches.
Bathers looked on in horror as the young wave-boarder was caught by a rogue current at Murder Hole Beach near Downings in Co Donegal.
The frightened girl was pulled out to sea and in extreme difficulty following the drama on Sunday afternoon last.
Two men swimming in the area noticed the girl was in difficulty and asked her if she was ok.
The frightened girl said she could not swim properly and was being dragged out.
The men eventually managed to get the young girl to safety on nearby rocks.
All three suffered cuts and bruises and the girl was treated for extreme shock after her frightening experience.
One onlooker said: “This was a very close call and only for these two men were swimming nearby this girl would certainly have drowned.
“People need to be aware of riptides and how dangerous they are. What appears to be a calm sea can change in seconds and people are powerless to swim against it.”
The man added that because the beach is so remote it would have been an hour before the emergency services would have reached the girl had she been hurt or injured.
A riptide is a strong, offshore current which pulls water through an inlet along a beach where the tide suddenly flows out to sea.