All three were swept into the sea, but the father and grandfather managed to pull themselves out onto the beach.
One late afternoon in Navia on the northern Spanish Asturian coast, a grandfather, with his son and grandson were taking a leisurely stroll when they were literally swept off their feet as a giant wave crashed on the beach, taking them with it.
All three were swept into the sea, but the father and grandfather managed to pull themselves out onto the beach. That’s when they realized that the little boy was missing.
According to a local newspaper, the child—an only child—was in the arms of his grandfather when the wave struck.
At the time of the incident, the conditions on the beach were terrible. In fact much of the coast was on high alert for unusually big waves and storms, with nine-meter-high waves forecast for areas along Spain's northern coast.
Witnesses raised the alarm and police and coast guard were soon on the scene; helicopters scoured the area until midnight.
“The father went into the water at least twice to try and find the child, but it was impossible," said Maria Fernández, a Navia Town Hall councilor who witnessed the incident.
All three family members were being treated in hospital for shock on Monday night.
Two hours after the accident occurred, members of Spain’s Guardia Civil, and the baby’s grandfather informed the mother about the incident.
Authorities continued the search for the toddler the following morning with the help of three helicopters and a coast guard vessel. Police and fire department teams were also searching the coastline.
The boy has yet to be found.
Keeping children safe at the beach
A day at the beach is something children and adults both enjoy, but if you’re bringing children to the beach, parents must understand these things:
Know your swimming limitations. If you think the water might be too rough for you, chances are you’re right.
Always investigate the place you're entering first. Ask locals, scope out potential problems and stay out if you're unsure.
Talk to the lifeguards before you go in. Not only is it simple, but when it comes to the ocean, they know more than you might ever know.
Recognize when someone is in trouble. "Children playing in the water make noise. When they get quiet, you get to them and find out why."
Assign a guardian when you are away. A mistake that many people (especially those in groups) make is assuming someone else is watching the kids.
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