A family of holidaymakers have thanked Whitby’s lifeboat crew for saving them after a dad and his daughter got caught in a rip tide.
Ben Biltcliffe, 45, and his 11-year-old daughter Grace were struggling in stormy seas at Robin Hood’s Bay for almost an hour while they waited to be rescued by the RNLI.
They were on a last minute from Ripon to Whitby beach with his son Peter, 12, the children’s mother Allanah Yeatman, 49, and her partner, Hugh Miller, 30.
Allanah and Peter played in the rock pools while Ben, Hugh and Grace played in the shallow surf - until Grace got swept sideways.
Ben said: “She was no more than an arm’s length away but when I reached out to grab her, I realised I wasn’t standing on as much sand as before. What I didn’t realise was the beach was literally getting washed away from under us.”
When Ben reached his daughter, he almost instantly knew that they were going to struggle to get back over the breakers. Hugh couldn’t reach them and went back to get help.
It took him 15 minutes to get out of the sea himself while a passer-by raised the alarm as Allanah and Peter panicked.
Ben said: “We are incredibly thankful to the RNLI for saving our lives - without them we wouldn’t have been able to get back to the shore.
“I’m also staggered to learn that they rely solely on charitable donations to operate. They are a vital services on the seas and we want to do everything that we can to raise money for the brilliant work that they do.”
At the time the lifeboat crew said they feared the worst as they raced to the scene given how long the pair had been in the water.