Hero dad trapped in 'sinking sand' after rescuing young son from 5ft deep sea water

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Jay Forbes, 26, was at Ayr beach with his family, taking their new puppy for a walk last Saturday when disaster struck. When he heard screams from his wife Hayley, he rushed over to find his son face down in five foot deep sea water. Young JJ Forbes, was exploring a puddle when he got into difficulties and needed his dad to come to the rescue.

After Mr Forbes had rescued his son and passed him to a distraught Hayley, he realised he was stuck in sinking sand, with the water up to his waist.

Panicking, his wife was unable to pull him free before a passing dog walker helped him escape.

Jay told the Daily Record: “There was no time to think about how I felt, I did what any parent would have done in that situation.

”My priority was to pull my son from the water. My son, just like any other two year old, saw a puddle and decided to go over to explore.

“Then my wife started screaming… ‘He is face down’ ‘get him get him’. I ran over to my son who was under the water but when I went to grab him I fell in as well up to my waist.

“I grabbed my son and chucked him to his mum who attended to him as he was still choking on the water.

“When my wife was attending to our son, I shouted ‘Hayley I’m stuck’.

“I could feel that one foot was stuck higher than the other, so I wasn’t at the bottom of the hole either. I could feel them sinking further.

“My wife attempted to pull me out but she wasn’t strong enough.

“Thankfully a gentleman that was walking his dog nearby saw everything unfold and came over to help and was able to pull me free.”

Once Mr Forbes had been freed, the family rushed little JJ to University Hospital Ayr. He was released hours later.

He was extremely cold and had swallowed a lot of sea water – but after being examined by the medics, he was given the all clear.

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His relieved parents are urging South Ayrshire Council to take action to prevent a future tragedy. Jay said: “It wasn’t until we were on the way to the emergency department that reality kicked in and how terrifying the situation actually had been, and how different things could have turned out.

“My son thankfully was only in [hospital] for a couple of hours, and just has a sore stomach from the inhaled seawater he took In, and was extremely cold but nothing serious.

“Our child isn’t the first to fall in this dangerous hole and others like this on Ayr beach front. You can see from the photo and really in person this looks like a puddle.

“The area we were in the the busiest stretch of beach also directly across from the kids’ playpark.

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“To our knowledge there are no warnings signs on Ayr beach to warn people of the sinking sands. Our hope is that the council take on board the severity of this accident and take this as a warning, before it becomes a fatal accident.

“We are hoping and will follow up personally that the council will signpost areas of sinking sand along the beach.”

A spokesperson for South Ayrshire Council said: “We were alerted to an incident at Ayr Beach on Saturday, February 19 where a hole had formed due to unstable sand.

“Our Grounds Maintenance team have now attended the area and have stabilised the sand. We would advise the public to use caution when attending the beach following inclement weather.”



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