Tyne & Wear

Cullercoats sea rescue: Caitlin Ruddy dies after cardiac arrest

Caitlin Ruddy Image copyright Caitlin Ruddy Facebook
Image caption Caitlin Ruddy has been described as a girl who "had a heart of gold"

A 15-year-old girl has died despite being rescued after she was swept into the sea in North Tyneside.

Caitlin Ruddy had been with a group of teenagers on the north pier at Cullercoats Bay on Saturday evening.

Northumbria Police said she was rescued from the side of the bay by a member of the public.

Caitlin died in hospital after suffering a cardiac arrest. Her mother, Sabrina Cook, said she had lost her "everything".

Mrs Cook has warned young people "not to take water for granted, because it is dangerous".

"I've lost my daughter through it," she said.

Image caption Caitlin's family spent time standing on Cullercoats Bay north pier, where she fell into the sea

"She was stunning, she was my everything really, she was my friend."

Caitlin's friends and family have been paying their respects at Cullercoats Bay, writing messages in the sand and leaving flowers.

A RNLI lifeboat, a Coastguard search-and-rescue helicopter and police were called to the scene at about 20:00 GMT.

Image caption Ashley and Sabrina Cook said Caitlin's death had not sunk in

Caitlin was taken to Northumbria Specialist Emergency Care Hospital in Cramlington.

Another 15-year old girl, and a boy and girl both aged 14, were also taken to hospital as a precaution but were uninjured, police said.

Ch Insp Paul Knox issued a warning that "people can be taken unawares by the strength of the waves" when it is dark and cold.

"People should always be careful around water and if the sea is looking rough with waves pounding on to the pier, we would advise people to be particularly cautious and keep their distance," he said.

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Media captionThe RNLI were called out to rescue the teenager swept out to sea

A Cullercoats resident who witnessed the rescue operation said the weather had been "absolutely freezing".

Newcastle University lecturer Clare Guilding said the beach was a popular place for teenagers to congregate.

"It was minus 2C, but once you get out on the front it was just bitterly, bitterly cold," she said.

Image caption Tributes to 15-year-old Caitlin Ruddy have been left at Cullercoats Bay
Image caption The teenager was swept off the north pier at Cullercoats Bay, North Tyneside
Image copyright Google
Image caption Northumbria police officers at the scene described the sea as "running high"

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