Cornwall

Cornwall lifeguards meet unborn baby they saved decade ago

five people on a beach
Image caption Chris Lowry (left) and Damian Prisk (right) saved Marc and Vicky Murphy when she was pregnant with their daughter Rae

A couple has been reunited with the lifeguards who saved them and their unborn baby from drowning 10 years ago.

Vicky Murphy, who was 35 weeks pregnant, and her husband Marc were cut off by the tide and washed against cliffs at Chapel Porth, Cornwall.

The family, including their daughter Rae, who is now 10, has thanked rescuers Chris Lowry and Damian Prisk in a surprise reunion at the beach.

"They are the reason I have my family today," Mrs Murphy said.

Recalling the incident in May 2009, she said: "Before we knew it, waves were crashing over our heads."

"I asked Marc, 'be honest with me, we are not going to make it, are we?'

"I'll never forget the look in his eyes when he replied: 'No!'"

Image copyright RNLI / NATHAN WILLIAMS
Image caption Conditions at Chapel Porth were too treacherous for the rescue boat to reach the couple

The couple, who were visiting the area from Swanscombe, Kent, were spotted by a surfer, who raised the alarm with the RNLI lifeguards.

Mr Prisk and Mr Lowry, who were patrolling the beach at nearby Porthtowan, immediately launched their rescue boat.

Mr Lowry jumped into the water and scrambled up the rocks to where the couple were clinging, before swimming them to the boat one at a time.

'Count your lucky stars'

"The relief of seeing the lifeguards coming around the corner still gets me emotional to this day," Mrs Murphy, 36, said.

"I'm in awe of their bravery."

You may also be interested in:

Image copyright RNLI / NATHAN WILLIAMS
Image caption Vicky Murphy was 35 weeks pregnant with daughter Rae when they were rescued

She spent the next three days in hospital as she had taken so many knocks and had not felt the baby move.

When a heartbeat was located, nurses told them: "You should count your lucky stars."

"We were shocked by what we faced that day," Mr Lowry said.

"The conditions, the situation we found Vicky and Marc in, knowing that if we took any longer to reach them it could have been a completely different outcome."

The family has since moved to Cornwall and Rae now has two younger brothers.

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites