Teenage girls speak of beach tragedy when sudden tide trapped friends as they swum

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Two teenage girls have relived the moment they got into difficulty at sea before a “sudden” tide sadly claimed the life of a young man.

The man in his 20s, named as Hamza Mansoor, died after five men struggled against the current on Tuesday, July 20.

A second man in the group is also described as being in a critical but stable condition in hospital by police.

Emma Sullivan, from Croxteth, said she was swimming near to the men when the tide suddenly came in at Crosby Beach.

The 16-year-old said she wants to share what happened to her to warn others of the dangers of water.

Emma told the ECHO: “Me and my mate were in the sea just swimming and the tide just got really big all of a sudden before you could even realise.

“We couldn’t stand on the floor at all so we were trying to get to the sand and then I went and crashed into a big rock and cut all my legs. My mate saw I was struggling and she went into the rock too but she was a better swimmer than me.”



Emma Sullivan, 16, from Croxteth, was swimming on Crosby beach when she got caught by the tide and crashed into a rock
Emma Sullivan, 16, from Croxteth, was swimming on Crosby beach when she got caught by the tide and crashed into a rock

The teenager said that while she was struggling to get out of the water she also saw the group of five men getting into difficulty.

Thankfully, Emma and her friend were closer to shore and were able to make it back.

She said: “We were just swimming about the next minute, before we realised, we couldn’t stand and we could hear them shouting , they were struggling just as much as we were.

“But we had rocks to hold onto so we managed to swim but because of how strong the waves were they couldn’t get strength to start swimming.”

She added: “My mate is a good swimmer so I held onto her shoulder and swam back.”

Emma said once they made it to shore they ran and asked for help and people crowded in the area.

She also said she saw a woman on a paddle board and a man swimming out trying to help.

The teen said: “We saw a woman on a paddle board go over, then the woman and a man were just screaming for help.

“We ran and our legs were covered in blood and we were dripping wet but we ran for help.”

Lilli Westerside, also from Liverpool, was watching her friend Emma swimming in the sea when suddenly she lost sight of her.

The 16-year-old said that she noticed the tide coming in quickly and ran to tell her friends to swim back but couldn’t find them.

She told the ECHO: “I knew my mates were in the sea and the tide was coming in so I wanted to go over and tell them to get out but I couldn’t see them.



Emma Sullivan, 16, from Croxteth, was swimming on Crosby beach when she got caught by the tide and crashed into a rock
Emma Sullivan, 16, from Croxteth, was swimming on Crosby beach when she got caught by the tide and crashed into a rock

“Next thing I see a crowd and hear screaming, I thought it was Emma but then I saw three men on the sand getting CPR.

“We were really worried and just want to advise everyone to now be careful near the water.

“Be aware of currents and how the tide can get within minutes.”

Following this latest tragic incident, Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service area manager Gary Oakford, said: “Our thoughts are with the family and friends following the tragic death of a young man this week on Crosby beach.

“Sadly, this is the latest in a large number of water-related fatalities across the country during this period of hot weather. We would urge people to make sure they are aware of the dangers of open water, particularly when carrying out activities in and around open water.

“We know that around 50% of people who drown in the UK were taking part in normal everyday activities near water at the time, with many having no intention of entering the water.

“Open water swimming is very different to swimming in a pool and is much more dangerous. Even at this time of year when temperatures are warm, the water is often a lot colder than you expect and can affect your ability to swim and sudden immersion can lead to cold water shock. There are also hidden currents that can quickly lead to difficulty for even the strongest swimmers.”

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