A TEENAGER from Little Lever, near Bolton, is recovering in hospital after she was swept away by the tide while paddling in Morecambe Bay.

The 14-year-old was rescued in Heysham, shortly before 5pm yesterday after managing to swim back to the shore.

Her friend, a 16-year-old from Wigan, was rescued from the water.

The pair got into difficulties between the Ocean Edge caravan park and Middleton Sands beach at North Quay.

They were walking along the coast when they were cut off by the incoming tide and left stranded on a sand bank, before being swept towards Heysham Harbour.

The younger girl managed to swim back to the shore, but the 16-year-old was rescued by a passing boat from the Port of Heysham.

Both teenagers were taken to the Royal Lancaster Infirmary, with the 16-year-old suffering from severe hypothermia and the 14-year-old shaken and suffering superficial injuries.

A spokesman for Lancashire Police said the girls are recovering well and are “out of any danger”. It is sunderstood they are due to be discharged today.

Mark Finch, of Lancaster Police, said yesterday: “The girls were fortunate enough that they were spotted getting into some difficulty and were able to get back to the shore, but one of the girls remains very poorly at hospital as a result of the incident.

“This is a timely reminder to anyone enjoying the school holidays and the good weather to remember the dangers of the tide and of open water and to enjoy them safety and responsibly.” 

The 16-year-old was rescued after the alarm was raised by a passing Stenna vessel which was coming into the port and spotted what looked like a body in the vessel.

A small boat from the Port of Heysham, which had two men on board, responded to the mayday call and went to the location where they also found what they thought was a body.

When the man dragged the 16-year-old out of the water there were signs of life, and they quickly brought her back to shore to be treated by paramedics.

The Maritime and Coastguard Agency has now issued warning reminding holiday-makers enjoying the coastline to check tide times to ensure they do not get cut off.

Bill Downing, senior maritime operations officer for the UK Coastguard, said: “Many beaches have tide times at their entrance or you can check times online.

“If you do get cut off by the tide, call 999 and ask for the Coastguard or if you do not have a phone shout for help.”

A spokesman for Morecambe Coastguard said: “Morecambe Coastguard was called to a report of two teens in the water by Heysham Harbour.

“Upon our arrival both teens were out of the water.

“It transpired that they had gone for a walk on the beach and were eventually cut off by the tide before being swept towards the harbour.

“One had managed to swim ashore while the other was recovered by a boat from the harbour.

“Both teens were seen to by paramedics, and we stood down.”

A spokesman for the RLNI said Morecambe Lifeboat was called to attend but was not needed as the girls were already out of the water.

A spokesman for North West Ambulance Service said: “We were called at 4.45pm yesterday to reports one person had been recovered from the sea.

“A second patient was later recovered from the sea.

“One patient appeared to have minor injuries but there were concerns the other patient could have hypothermia.

“Our rapid response vehicle arrived within 10 minutes and the ambulance arrived at 5.20pm.”

The North West Air Ambulance helicopter also attended the scene, landing at the helipad at the Port of Heysham at 4.45pm, but the girls were taken to hospital by ambulance. 

Firefighters attended the incident after receiving a call from the ambulance service that there was someone missing in the water at the north side of the port, near the gas works.

A spokesman for Lancashire Fire and Rescue said: “The coastguard were in attendance, and one other person had already been located and rescued.

“As firefighters arrived the missing person was rescued by port agency staff. Firefighters assisted ambulance paramedics in conveying the two casualties to the ambulance.”