A 70's orange Space Hopper toy helped save two schoolgirls at the weekend

On Saturday Charlotte Wright, 15, and her

friend Hannah Woolacott 16, were minutes from drowning after they were washed

off the pier in Dawlish, Devon.

After

hearing the girls screams, Matthew Gribble, Andrew Riches and Leigh

Larratt, all 24, called the coastguard and came to their rescue. After a lifebuoy didn’t reach the girls

quick-thinking Matthew threw out a neighbour’s Space Hopper.

The girls who were 20 metres out from the

seawall clutched hold the toy and reaching the tethered lifebuoy held on until Exmouth

inshore lifeboat arrived. The boys urged the girls to keep their heads above

the waves.

Two lifeboat crews and a rescue helicopter

were scrambled. Both girls were treated in an Exeter hospital

and later released.