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Video: Moment young Alexandra Hewitt rescued from strong rip current while swimming at Ramsgate beach

By KentOnline reporter

A 12-year-old girl and her brother have been rescued by lifeguards in Kent after getting caught in a rip current.

Alexandra Hewitt, 12, and her 21-year-old brother were swept out to sea while swimming with friends at Ramsgate beach.

Now video has emerged of beach lifeguard Jack Basson plucking the pair to safety as they were being swept out to sea.

After being caught in a rip current, Alexandra Hewitt is safely on a paddle board

He said: "Lifeguard Sam Studd was patrolling the shoreline when he saw the swimmers struggling to make their way back in.

"Sam alerted me on the radio so I raced over to the rescue board and paddle out to them.

"When I arrived the girl was tired and seemed to be struggling. She was visibly relieved as I helped her grab onto my rescue board.

"We all made our way back towards shore until the boy could stand up in the water and then I paddled the girl back to the beach, where she said a big thank you."

Scroll down for video of the rescue

Ramsgate beach lifeguard Jack Basson jumps to rescue young Alexandra Hewitt
Jack Basson reaches out to help Alexandra Hewitt
The 12-year-old is safely aboard the rescue board

The rescue on Wednesday has prompted a school holiday safety message from the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI).

RNLI lifeguards patrol at 13 beaches on the north and east coasts of Kent. Ten of these are in the Thanet district and three are on the Isle of Sheppey.

Alexandra's mother Rachel Hewitt thanked the lifeguards for their swift actions and urged other people to taka care when swimming off Ramsgate beach.

She said: "Alexandra is a strong swimmer so it goes to show that even good swimmers can get caught out. I'm sure she is going to donate some her pocket money to the RNLI to thank the lifeguards."

RNLI lifeguard supervisor James Uren said: "Both lifeguards did a very professional job in identifying the danger and carrying out a swift rescue.

"The currents around the harbour arm at Ramsgate can be strong. Alex could have potentially been swept out into a busy shipping channel if it were not for the actions of the lifeguards."

Video: The moment Alexandra Hewitt was rescued by lifeguard Jack Basson

Mr Uren added: "With the school holidays starting this week we're expecting thousands of youngsters to flock to the beach to take advantage of the good weather.

"We want everyone to enjoy the seaside safely and the best way to do that is to visit a lifeguarded beach and swim between the red and yellow flags."

Last year, Kent's RNLI lifeguards saved seven lives, rescued 42 beach-goers and overall helped 750 people, including giving first aid 555 times.

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