Ilfracombe Harbour Sea RescueHeart-stopping video captures the moment a young girl is dragged out to sea while playing with her friends on a pier in Ilfracombe, Devon.
As the waves lash the shoreline, her friends manage to retreat to safety.
Unfortunately, the young girl is caught up in the ferocious high tide, the sheer force of which causes her feet to give way.
She is then hauled off the side of the pier wall before managing to grip the guardrail as her friends watch on in horror.
The child then vanishes after a huge wave engulfs her.
Spotting the helpless young girl, bystanders rush to grab a lifebuoy.
Dramatic scenes: Horrifying moment girl is dragged out to sea as onlookers scramble to save her (Image: Ilfracombe Harbour Sea Rescue)
Meanwhile, another onlooker was able to grab hold of the imperilled child before she is whisked further out to sea.
Ilfracombe RNLI responded to the incident, which occurred around 7pm Thursday, before providing emergency care to two of the children.
The group were then taken home.
Following the dangerous incident, harbourmasters are warning outdoors enthusiasts to refrain from “high-risk activities” that could “put their lives in danger”.
Panic: The child then vanishes after a huge wave engulfs her (Image: Ilfracombe Harbour Sea Rescue)
Ilfracombe boss Georgina Carlo-Paat said: “This incident is a serious reminder of the dangers of tombstoning and other high-risk activities in the harbour.
“Not only were the youths lucky not to be more seriously injured, they put their lives in danger as well as those of quick-thinking bystanders who acted when they got into trouble.
“The sea conditions were very volatile and all of the youths had been knocked off their feet on the slipway prior to the incident, but still continued to run into surging waves.
“Thankfully the RNLI were on exercise in the outer harbour at the time and were able to respond very quickly and tended to their injuries before escorting them all home.”
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Rescue: Bystanders throw a lifebuoy in a bid to rescue the helpless child (Image: Ilfracombe Harbour Sea Rescue)
Within days of the dangerous incident, Storm Antoni battered Devon with strong winds.
The ferocious weather led to record-breaking wind speeds being recorded.
The highest wind gust recorded was in Berry Head in Brixham.
Gusts of 78mph were registered. The Met Office said it was provisionally a new highest wind gust for August.
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