A YOUNG girl has spoken of the moment she saved a suicidal woman.
Brave Lauren Fenwick, 14, said she acted on instinct when she saw a woman throw herself fully clothed into the sea at Goring.
The incident happened on Sunday, July 31, around 8pm, while Lauren was rock pooling with three friends.
It is not clear what happened directly before the incident, but Lauren believes it all started after the woman’s dog apparently attacked a child near the Blue Bird Café in Ferring.
Lauren, of Rife Way, Ferring, said: “She was screaming and crying and the parent was having a go at her.
“Then she was running. We tried to call her and calm her down, but she ran for quite a long way to Goring Gap and then she went into the sea.”
Lauren, an Angmering School pupil, said she did not think twice when wading into the water after the distressed woman.
“She went really far out to sea, past where you are allowed to go,” said Lauren.
“I saw her put her head under water, so I swam and pulled her out.
“Then she burst into tears. She was trying to say you should not save me.”
Fortunately, Lauren was a strong swimmer, thanks to her dad, who used to swim for county and taught her to swim from a young age.
Lauren said: “Everything happened a bit fast, but I realised something was wrong. It was hard, but I could not have lived with myself if she had drowned.”
Her mum Suzanne, 36, has described her daughter as “brave” and said: “I am very proud of her.”
However, she admitted the 14-year-old had been left “quite shaken” by the ordeal.
She added: “We did have a chat afterwards about whether she should have done it or not and how not to put herself in danger.”
Lauren’s friends called an ambulance to the beach.
The teenager and the woman were both checked over by paramedics but did not need any further treatment.
A ambulance spokesman said: “We are extremely grateful for any help we receive. She should be very proud.”
Worthing Beach Office confirmed it had heard of the incident, but it was coastguards from Shoreham who were sent to deal with the drama.