Highlands & Islands

Fisherman praised for rescue of girls at Farr beach

Jamie Magee with Eve Watson and Fearn Hayley Image copyright Jim Johnson
Image caption Jamie Magee with Eve Watson and Fearn Hayley

A lobster fisherman has been praised for rescuing two girls who got into difficulty while paddling in the sea on boards.

Eve Watson, eight, and Fearn Hayley, 10, were at Farr beach in Sutherland when they were swept out and unable to get back to the shore.

Fearn's mother, Rhona Hayley, was with them and attempted to reach the girls during the incident on 25 August.

Jamie Magee heard the girls' screams and went to their aid in his dinghy.

The fisherman, who is also a coastguard station officer, had been working nearby at the time.

He has been publicly thanked by the girls' families and praised by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency.

'Quick thinking'

Fearn was wearing a wetsuit, but Eve had a swimsuit on because the zip on her wetsuit was broken.

When Mr Magee reached the pair, he found Eve to be "very cold" and experiencing the onset of hypothermia.

Paramedics alerted to the incident were able to help the girls once they were back on land.

RNLI and coastguard volunteers were also sent to the scene.

Eve's mother, Caroline Watson, said the incident could have ended in tragedy if not for the quick response of Mr Magee and others.

HM Coastguard deputy head of coastal operations, Richard Hackwell, said: "Jamie's quick thinking that afternoon saved the lives of two children.

"I'm extremely proud of his actions that day, which prove that coastguards are never off duty and are always there to help members of the public in their time of need."

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